Wolseley drops 5 percent on FTSE 100

| August 24, 2010 | 0 Comments
Wolseley drops 5 percent on FTSE 100

European equities markets were lower Tuesday after a report from the National Association of Realtors which showed that existing home sales in the US fell 27 percent in July, double the expected decline, casting doubts on the state of the economic recovery.

The FTSE 100 was 1.51 percent lower to 5,155.95 in London, while the FTSE 250 was down 1.27 percent to 9,700.91.

Building materials groups were lower, as Wolseley (LSE: WOS) fell 4.98 percent while Irish competitor CRH Plc (ISEQ: CRH; LSE: CRH) dropped 17 percent after it warned that its full-year earnings will likely fall by 20 percent.

Construction group Balfour Beatty (LSE: BBY) was down 5.44 percent.

There were gainers on the session, with Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) adding 3.44 percent to lead the 100 and a mostly lower food and beverages sector, while pubs operator Punch Taverns (LSE: PUB) added 8.99 percent to lead gains on the 100 and was the best of just a few gainers in the travel and leisure sector after it forecast that profits for the full year will top predicitons.

Promethean World (LSE: PRW), which makes educational products, was the worst performer in London, dropping 20.67 percent on the 250, while miner Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) dropped 7.61 percent to lead declines on the 100.

Vedanta’s decline came after India rejected the miner’s application to mine bauxite in Orissa state and demanded that it produce reasons why the Indian government should not cancel the miner’s permit for a refinery.

The only gainer in the mining sector was African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG), with a gain of 0.71 percent.

The energy sector was also mostly lower, with oil and gas explorer SOCO International (LSE: SIA) the biggest decliner as it fell 4.64 percent, while the best performer in the sector was wind turbine gearbox manufacturer Hansen Transmissions International (LSE: HSN), with a gain of 3.05 percent.

Directories publisher Yell Group (LSE: YELL) was the worst performer in the media sector, dropping 6.91 percent, while advertising group WPP (LSE: WPP) was 3.95 percent lower after its first-half net income missed analysts expectations even though profits were up 39 percent from last year and sales added 3.5 percent.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower, with declines coming ahead of the report on existing home sales in the US.

The Nikkei 225 was down 1.33 percent to 8,995.14 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 0.86 percent to 817.73 and the Mothers market dropped 2.84 percent to 366.53.

The Nikkei closed under 9,000 for the first time in over a year, and has now dropped 21 percent since April 5, meeting some analysts’ definition for entering a bear market.

Exporters were hurt as the yen strengthened to a 15-year high versus the US dollar, with camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751), which gets 28 percent of its revenues from the Americas, down 0.9 percent, while consumer electronics giant Sony (TYO: 6758) dropped 3.7 percent.

Sony gets 22 percent of its revenues from the US.

Shares related to the semiconductors sector saw significant declines as Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035) fell 3.8 percent and Elpida Memory (TYO: 6665) was 4.8 percent lower.

Elsewhere in the region, the Straits Times Index was down 0.11 percent to 2,922.85 in Singapore, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.41 percent to 1,760.53, the Taiex was 0.44 percent lower to 7,940.64 in Taiwan, and India’s Sensex dropped 0.53 percent to 18,311.59.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.94 percent to 4,418.4 and the S&P/ASX200 was 1.08 percent lower to 4,381.3, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng dropped 1.1 percent to 20,658.71.

In China, the Shanghai Composite bucked the general trend to declines, adding 0.41 percent to 2,650.31.

The news from the housing market hurt New York markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1 percent to 10,073.15 in midday trade, while at the same time the S&P 500 had dropped 1.16 percent to 1,055.03 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.24 percent lower to 2,132.76.

Crude oil prices were down again, losing more than $1 per barrel again, with West Texas Intermediate crude trading below $72 per barrel, while metals prices were mixed as copper declined but gold and silver were higher.

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