ARM Holdings adds 11.5 percent, leads FTSE 100

| July 23, 2010
ARM Holdings adds 11.5 percent, leads FTSE 100

Most European equities markets were slightly higher Friday ahead of the release of results from stress tests on banks in the region, but the FTSE 100 ended down slightly in London.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.02 percent to 5,312.62, while the FTSE 250 added 0.9 percent to 10,093.67.

Semiconductors manufacturer ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) added 11.5 percent to lead gains on the 100 after it signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft (NAS: MSFT), with gains also helped out by Microsoft’s quarterly report and by an upgrade to “buy” from Royal Bank of Scotland ahead of ARM’s second quarter results, due early next week.

Dana Petroleum (LSE: DNX) led gains in a mixed energy sector, adding 13.36 percent on the 250 to top all gainers in London.

TUI Travel (LSE: TT) was the biggest decliner in London, falling 4.1 percent for the worst performance of the session on the 100 and in London, while clothing, shoes and accessories wholesaler and retailer SuperGroup (LSE: SGP) dropped 3.53 percent to turn in the worst performance of the session on the 250.

Bank in travel and leisure, hotels operators had a better day of it as Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (LSE: MLC) added 2.84 percent to lead gains in the sector, while InterContinental Hotels Group (LSE: IHG) gained 2.5 percent.

Shares related to health care had a difficult time as biotechnology group Genus (LSE: GNS) was 2.64 percent lower to lead the all-lower sector, while medical devices manufacturer Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN) fell 2.46 percent and drug makers AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) and Shire (LSE: SHP) dropped 2.37 percent and 2.07 percent respectively.

Most in the London banking sector were lower, but Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) managed a gain of 1.48 percent.

The Eurofirst 300 was up 0.48 percent to 1,044.34 while the CAC-40 added 0.18 percent to 3,607.05, the Dax was 0.39 percent higher to 6,166.34 and the IBEX gained 0.83 percent to 10,388.2.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on gains in commodities prices and after Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) said its net income was up 48 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter and that sales were up by 22 percent.

The Nikkei 225 added 2.28 percent to 9.430.96 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was up 1.92 percent to 841.29 and the Mothers market gained 1.59 percent to 389.49.

There were reports that the Tokyo Stock Exchange is thinking about staying open longer each day by starting earlier, closing later and eliminating its midday break in order to increase its competitiveness.

Advantest (TYO: 6857) was up 1.3 percent while Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035) added 3.1 percent.

Komatsu Ltd (TYO: 6301) added 4.3 percent on the possibility that it might revise its profits forecast upward, while industrial robot maker Fanuc (TYO: 6954) gained 5.6 percent.

Conglomerate Hitachi Ltd (TYO: 6501) was up 4 percent on reports that its quarterly earnings were likely better than had been anticipated, while trader Mitsubishi Corp (TYO: 8058) added 3.8 percent on higher metals prices.

The Sensex was up 0.1 percent to 18,130.98 in India while the Shanghai Composite added 0.38 percent to 2,572.03, the Straits Times Index was 0.6 percent higher to 2,973.47 in Singapore, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1 percent to 20,815.33, the Taiex was up 1.24 percent to 7,761.22 in Taiwan and South Korea’s Kospi added 1.3 percent to 1,758.06.

The Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.83 percent to 4,475.1 in Australia, while the S&P/ASX200 was up 1.91 percent to 4,458.4.

New York markets were mixed in midday trade, with the Dow up 0.05 percent to 10,327.79 while the S&P 500 was 0.1 percent lower to 1,092.55 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.34 percent to 2,238.27.

The declines came after the results of the stress tests on European banks began leaking out a little at a time, with indications that some Spanish banks and a Greek bank failed the test wall banks in Portugal and France were among those that passed.

Crude oil prices were lower at midday in New York, but West Texas Intermediate was still trading well above $78 per barrel, while metals prices were mixed as silver and copper advanced but gold had dropped nearly $5 per troy ounce.

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