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05th of September 2010
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September 3, 2010    

Soco International drops most in energy sector

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by Elaine Frei
Soco International drops most in energy sector

European equities markets were up Friday on employment news from the United States, although that data
was mixed, showing that private employers added 67,000 jobs in August, more than expected, but that the US economy overall lost 54,000 jobs for a second consecutive monthly decline and the unemployment rate was up to 9.6 percent.

The FTSE 100 was up 1.06 percent to 5,428.15 in London, for a 4.4 percent gain on the week, while the FTSE 250 added 0.62 percent to 10,204.11.

Oil explorer and producer Soco International (LSE: SIA) was the biggest decliner in the energy sector, falling 8.39 percent after it said it would cap and abandon a new well it was drilling in the Democratic Republic of Congo when it yielded water-bearing sands, while the best performer in the sector was oil and gas construction group Lamprell (LSE: LAM), which added 13.6 percent.

Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW) led declines on the 100, galling 2.28 percent, while over on the 250 facilities manager Connaught (LSE: CNT) was the worst performer, falling 12.26 percent to continue its recent roller-coaster-like big gains and losses.

The biggest gainer in London was Premier Foods (LSE: PFD), which added 20.9 percent on the 250, while generator rental group Aggreko (LSE: AGK) gained 5.5 percent for the best performance on the 100 after it said it hasn’t received any bids.

Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) led banks higher in London as it added 4.21 percent.

Most miners were higher, with iron ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) adding 4.51 percent for the best performance in the sector, while Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) did the worst, dropping 1.59 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.77 percent to 1,063 while the IBEX added 0.59 percent to 10,599.4, the Dax was 0.83 percent higher to 6,134.62 and the CAC-40 gained 1.12 percent to 3,672.2.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher Friday following Thursday’s positive data from the United States, after the National Association of Realtors said that pending home sales were up 5.3 percent in July and on US retail sales data from Retail Metrics Inc. that showed same-store sales in August up 3.5 percent.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.57 percent to 9.114.13 on the session and was up 1.4 percent for the week in Tokyo, while the Topix index was up 0.52 percent to 823.7 and the Mothers market gained 1.66 percent to 370.11 as the yen weakened, helping exporters.

Technology shares advanced as flash memory maker Toshiba Corp (TYO: 6502) was up 1 percent while
camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751), which gets 80 percent of its sales outside Japan and 28 percent of its sales in the Americas, added 1.3 percent, and consumer electronics manufacturer Sony (TYO: 6758), which makes 70 percent of its sales outside Japan, including 22 percent of its sales from the United States, gained 2.4 percent.

Sony’s gains came after it said it will expand its video on demand service into five European nations this fall and will debut a new digital music service by the end of the year.

Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203), which also gets 70 percent of its sales outside Japan, was 2.1 percent higher.

Rising commodities prices also helped several sectors, as trader Mitsubishi Corp (TYO: 8058) added 1 percent, while oil explorers and producers Japan Petroleum Exploration (TYO: 1662) and Inpex (TYO: 1605) were 0.5 percent and 2.5 percent higher respectively, and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co (TYO: 5713) gained 3.2 percent.

The S&P/ASX200 was up 0.19 percent to 4,541.2 in Australia, while the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.32 percent to 4,577.6.

South Korea’s Kospi was 0.24 percent higher to 1,780.2, while the Hang Seng added 0.49 percent to 20,971.5, the Straits Times Index was up 0.53 percent to 3,002.56 in Singapore and Taiwan’s Taiex gained 1.42 percent to 7,830.21.

Decliners in the region included an 0.01 percent drop for the Shanghai Composite to 2,655.39 while India’s Sensex was 0.09 percent lower to 18,221.43.

New York markets were up in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.81 percent to 10,404.15 while the S&P 500 was up 0.92 percent to 1,100.14 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1 percent higher to 2,222.06.

Crude oil prices were lower, with West Texas Intermediate crude down more than $1 per barrel in New York trade, while metals prices were mixed as gold declined but silver and copper were both higher.

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