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13th of September 2010
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September 10, 2010    

JD Wetherspoon leads pubs operators lower

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by Elaine Frei
JD Wetherspoon leads pubs operators lower

European equities markets were mixed Friday as markets in London and Paris saw gains but Frankfurt and Madrid markets as well as the pan-European Eurofirst 300 declined.

The FTSE 100 was 0.14 percent higher to 5,501.64 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.74 percent to 10,401.78.

Pubs operators were lower after JD Wetherspoon (LSE: JDW) said that the biggest issue in the industry is the way in which taxes and regulation keep increasing.

Wetherspoon fell 4.74 percent for the worst performance in the travel and leisure sector, while Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI) was down 2.54 percent and Punch Taverns (LSE: PUB) dropped 2.1 percent.

Travel agent TUI Travel (LSE: TT) was the best performer in the travel and leisure sector as it added 3.15 percent.

The biggest gainer on the 100 was inter-dealer money broker ICAP (LSE: IAP), which added 3.86 percent, while specialty pharmaceuticals group BTG (LSE: BGC) was up 12.93 percent to lead gains on the 250 and in London generally.

Engineering group Renishaw (LSE: RSW) was the biggest decliner in London, dropping 5.38 percent on the 250, while Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW) dropped most on the 100 and was the worst performer in a mixed energy sector as it fell 2.3 percent after reports that the government of Uganda has revoked an exploration license held by the oil and gas explorer.

Also in the energy sector, Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE) dropped 2.14 percent, while oil and gas construction group Lamprell (LSE: LAM) added 4.64 percent for the best performance in the sector.

Miners were also mixed, with Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC) up 3.22 percent for the best day in the sector, while Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC) was the worst performer in the sector as it dropped 1.7 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.09 percent to 1,081.28 while the Dax fell 0.11 percent to 6,214.77 and the IBEX dropped 0.22 percent to 10,689.6, but the CAC-40 added 0.1 percent to 3,725.82.

Deutsche Bank (FWB: DBK) led declines on the Dax on rumors that it is thinking about selling up to €9 billion in new shares.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on reports from the US Labor Department and the US Commerce Department both issued optimistic data.

The Labor Department reported that first-time jobless claims in the US were down by 27,000 to 451,000 last week, while the Commerce Department said that the US trade deficit dropped by 14 percent as exports were 1.8 percent higher.

The Nikkei 225 was up 1.55 percent to 8,239.17 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.83 percent to 833.72 and the Mothers market gained 0.34 percent to 378.21 on the US reports, after new figures showing that the Japanese economy grew 1.5 percent in the April through June quarter, better than had been reported last month, and on a weakening yen.

Exporters benefited from the decline for the yen, with Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) up 0.7 percent while consumer electronics giant Sony (TYO: 6758) was 1.7 percent higher and camera maker Canon (TYO: 7751) added 5.6 percent after it said it plans to spend up to ¥50 billion to buy back shares.

Shippers advanced after an index of shipping fees was up, with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (TYO: 9107) adding 1 percent while Nippon Yusen (TYO: 9101) was up 1.5 percent and Mitsui OSK Lines (TYO: 9104) gained 2 percent.

Clothing retailer Fast Retailing (TYO: 9983) was 5.6 percent higher after media reports that China is planning on allowing foreign companies with brick-and-mortar in the country there to sell their products online there.

Japan Tobacco (TYO: 2914) gained 4.1 percent after profits at its Tanzanian unit were up 89 percent in the first half of the year.

Other gainers in the region included the Shanghai Composite, which added 0.26 percent to 2,663.21 while the Hang Seng was up 0.43 percent to 21,257.39 in Hong Kong, Taiwan’s Taiex was 0.7 percent higher to 7,890.11 and the Kospi gained 1.02 percent to 1,802.58 in South Korea.

Australia’s markets were lower as the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.45 percent to 4,600.7 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.48 percent to 4,560.3.

India’s Sensex and Singapore’s Straits Times Index were both closed in observance of the end Ramadan.

New York markets were mixed in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.14 percent to 10,430.03 while the S&P 500 had added 0.19 percent to 1,106.25, but the Nasdaq Composite was 0.25 percent lower to 2,230.5.

The utilities sector saw declines after a broken gas line exploded Thursday evening in a San Francisco suburb, destroying at least 38 homes, killing at least four people and injuring many others, some critically.

At mid-morning local time on Friday, the fire had still not been completely contained, according to media reports, while PG&E (LSE: PCG), the utility company which owns the broken gas line, said that it has not determined the cause of the fire.

PG&E had dropped 5.58 percent in early afternoon trade.

Crude oil prices were higher, with West Texas Intermediate crude nearing $76 per barrel, while metals were mixed in New York trade as copper and gold declined but silver prices advanced.

Copper’s declines came on concerns that demand in China & the United States, the world’s biggest consumers of the metal, will erode amid signals that China could be getting ready to raise interest rates and as concerns persist that US economic growth is slowing down.

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