Barclays leads banks lower after US reports

Barclays leads banks lower after US reports

European equities markets were lower Friday, with declines coming after US banks Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) issued disappointing quarterly reports, and after the Reuters/University of Michigan US consumer sentiment index was at an initial reading of 66.5 in July, down from 76 in June.

The FTSE 100 was down 1.01 percent to 5,158.85 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.78 percent to 9,775.31.

The reports from Citigroup and Bank of America sent London banks lower, led by Barclays Bank (LSE; BARC), which fell 5.23 percent while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) dropped 3.7 percent.

Most miners were also lower, led by Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP), which was down 12.77 percent on the 250 for the worst performance of the day in London.

There were only two gainers among miners, as Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) added 0.33 percent and Gem Diamonds (LSE: GEMD) gained 1.42 percent.

The energy sector was mixed, with oil companies leading gains on both the 100 and the 250, as Essar Energy (LSE: ESSR) added 2.25 percent on the 100 and Melrose Resources (LSE: MRS) led he 250 and all London shares with a gain of 10.07 percent, while Afren (LSE: AFR) had the worst day in the sector, dropping 2.82 percent.

BP (LSE: BP) added 1.34 percent after it stopped leaks from a well in the Gulf of Mexico, at least temporarily, and on rumors that it is about to reach a deal to sell some of its assets, including some in Alaska, to Apache Corp (NYSE: APA)

Homebuilders were lower, with Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) turning in the worst performance in the sector as it dropped 4.81 percent, while Daejan Holdings (LSE: DJAN) fell 4.19 percent to lead declines in the real estate sector.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.86 percent to 1,014.34, while the IBEX fell 1.66 percent to 9,991.7, the Dax was 1.77 percent lower to 6,040.27 and the CAC-40 dropped 2.28 percent to 3,500.16.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower again Friday on continuing concerns about economicrecovery in the United States after the Federal Reserve reported yesterday that manufacturing activity in the US fell by 0.4 percent in June.

The Nikkei 225 was down 2.86 percent to 9,408.36 in Tokyo, its biggest one-day percentage decline in over a month, while the Topix index fell 1.87 percent to 840.58 and the Mothers market ropped 1.38 percent to 392.82.

Exporters were lower as the yen strengthened, with chipmaker Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035) down 2.8 percent while camera maker Canon (TYO: 7751) was 3.2 percent lower and Sony (TYO: 6758) dropped 5 percent.

Japan’s markets will be closed Monday in observance of Marine Day.

The Shanghai Composite was down fractionally, dropping just 0.03 point to 2,424.27, while the Hang Seng fell 0.03 percent to 20,250.16.

The Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.44 percent to 4,437 in Australia, while the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.45 percent to 4,422.7.

Taiwan’s Taiex was down 0.52 percent to 7,664.57, while the Kospi dropped 0.73 percent to 1,738.45 in South Korea.

On the other hand, the Sensex added 0.26 percent to 17,955.82 in India while the Straits Times Index gained 0.48 percent to 2,957.72.

New York markets dropped on the disappointing reports from banks and from conglomerate General Electric (NYSE: GE), and on the decline in US consumer sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.01 percent to 10,150.72 in midday trade, while the S&P 500 had dropped 2.3 percent to 1,071.25 and the Nasdaq Composite was 2.47 percent lower to 2,193.57.

Crude oil prices were lower at midday in New York, while metals prices were also down as gold was back below $1,200 per troy ounce after dropping nearly $19 while silver was down 54 cents and copper had fallen by 8 cents.

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