Connaught drops another 30 percent

| August 9, 2010
Connaught drops another 30 percent

European equities markets were higher Monday, with gains coming on the chance that last week’s disappointing jobs reports in the United States will move the Federal Reserve there to take new steps to help the US economy.

The FTSE 100 added 1.47 percent to 5,410.52 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 1.21 percent to 10,212.24.

Despite gains, the biggest decline in London came from facilities manager Connaught (LSE: CNT), which fell 29.03 percent on the 250 on reports that the troubled company is in talks with banks about a debt-for-equity swap.

Over on the 100, African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG) led declines as it dropped 1.67 percent as one of only four losers in the sector, while gold miner Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY) turned in the best performance in the sector as it added 3.56 percent.

Banks were mostly higher, led by Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) with a gain of 2.73 percent, while the only decline in the sector came from Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS), which was 1.47 percent lower.

Synergy Healthcare (LSE: SYR) was the best performer in London, adding 7.81 percent on the 250.

International Power (LSE: IPR) led gains in an all higher utilities sector, gaining 3.71 percent on reports that French utility GDF Suez (Euronext: GSZ) will take a two-thirds interest in the company and may pay a special dividend to stockholders as part of the deal.

Fund manager Schroders (LSE: SDR, SDRt) added 4.23 percent for voting shares and 3.93 percent for non-voting shares after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised the company’s target share price.

In the oil sector, Petrofac (LSE: PFC) was up 1.23 percent after it said it had secured a contract worth $430 million with state-run Kuwait Oil Company, while the best performer in the sector was wind turbine gearbox manufacturer Hansen Transmissions International (LSE: HSN), which gained 2.38 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.3 percent to 1,070.54 while the Dax added 1.47 percent to 6,351.6, the IBEX was 1.52 percent higher to 10,812.6 and the CAC-40 gained 1.65 percent to 3,777.37.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on the session, but Tokyo’s markets were mostly lower as the yen strengthened versus the US dollar.

The Nikkei 225 fell 0.72 percent to 8,572.49 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was down 0.41 percent to 857.62 but the Mothers market added 0.81 percent to 381.54.

Among automobile manufacturers, Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) was 1.44 percent lower while Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) dropped 1.65 percent.

In technology related sectors chip-testing equipment maker Advantest (TYO: 6857) was down 1.86 percent while camera and copier manufacturer Canon (TYO: 7751) fell 1.87 percent.

On the other hand, credit card issuer Credit Saison (TYO: 8253) added 3.26 percent after it reported that quarterly profits were up.

South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.36 percent to 1,790.17 while the Shanghai Composite added 0.53 percent to 2,672.53 and the Hang Seng was 0.57 percent higher to 21.801.59 in Hong Kong.

The S&P/ASX200 added 0.63 percent to 4,594.9 in Australia, while the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.64 percent to 4,615.6.

India’s Sensex was up 0.79 percent to 18,287.5 and the Taiex was 0.89 percent higher to 8,034.49 in Taiwan.

Markets were closed in Singapore in observance of National Day.

New York markets were higher in midday trade on hopes that the Federal Reserve will add liquidity to the US economy ahead of the Fed’s policy meeting that begins tomorrow.

At just past 12:30 p.m. local time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3 percent to 10,685.73 while the S&P 500 had added 0.33 percent to 1,125.31 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.42 percent higher to 2,298.19.

Crude oil prices were higher in New York trade, while copper was also higher but gold and silver had both seen declines, although gold was still trading above $1,200 per troy ounce.

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