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October 1, 2010    

BG Group leads gainers on 100

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by Elaine Frei
BG Group leads gainers on 100

Most European equities markets were lower Friday as early gains on the news that China’s manufacturing activity was up in September gave way to declines after the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index showed that factory activity in the US slowed last month.

The ISM’s index was at 54.4 in September, down from 56.3 in August, while China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index rose from 51.7 in August to 53.8 in September, more of a gain than had been expected.

London’s markets bucked losing trends as the FTSE 100 managed to add 0.8 percent to 5,592.9 and the FTSE 250 was 0.58 percent higher to 10,592.47.

Oil and gas explorer BG Group (LSE: BG) led gains on the 100 and in the energy sector, gaining 4.6 percent after Madrid-based Repsol YPF (BMAD: REP) said that China’s Sinopec (SSE: 600028) has purchased a 40 percent stake in Repsol’s Brazillian unit for $7.1 billion.

BG, Repsol, and Brazilian state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) (BM&F Bovespa: PETR3, PETR4; BMAD: XPBR, XPBRA) are partners in exploring for oil and gas in waters off of Brazil.

Meanwhile, the best performance on the 250 came from polymer producer Victrex (LSE: VCT), which was up 4.86 percent.

Credit information provider Experian Group (LSE: EXPN) was down 2.74 percent for the worst performance on the 100, while semiconductors manufacturer CSR (LSE: CSR) dropped 4.09 percent on the 250).

Also in the semiconductors sector, ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) added 3.26 percent after Exane BNP Paribas raised the company’s target share price.

Back in the energy sector, besides BG Group, two other oil and gas explorers, BP (LSE: BP) and Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW) placed in the top five gainers on the 100, adding 2.97 percent and 2.67 percent respectively, while the only decliner in the sector was oil and gas construction and engineering group Lamprell (LSE: LAM), which was down 1.09 percent.

Most miners were higher in London, helped by the gains in Chinese manufacturing last month and by a ruling by the Indian Supreme Court which overturned a lower court ruling that would have forced a copper smelter there to close due to environmental concerns.

Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR) turned in the best performance in the mining sector, adding 3.83 percent, while gold miner Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY) dropped 2.2 percent for the worst day in the sector.

Gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) added 2.3 percent after JPMorgan raised its recommendation on the company from “underweight” to “neutral”.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.39 percent to 1,056.70 while the Dax fell 0.28 percent to 6,211.34, the IBEX was 0.61 percent lower to 10,450.1 and the CAC-40 dropped 0.62 percent to 3,692.09.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on the session.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.37 percent to 9,404.23 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.06 percent to 829.97 but the Mothers market dropped 0.19 percent to 369.85.

Tokyo’s gains came as property developers advanced on new data showing that housing starts in Japan added 20.5 percent in August, with Mitsubishi Estate (TYO: 8802) adding 3.2 percent while Mitsui Fudosan was 3.7 percent higher.

Banks were down initially on reports that international regulators are thinking about making large banks hold between 2 percent and 3 percent more cash in reserves than required by the recent decision by the Basel Committee on Banking Regulation.

Mizuho Financial Group (TYO: 8411) did not recover from declines and ended down 2.5 percent, but Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) was up 0.7 percent at the close, while Mitsubishi UFJ (TYO: 8306) gained 0.8 percent.

The Taiex was up 0.08 percent to 8,244.18 in Taiwan while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.21 percent to 1,876.73, the Straits Times Index was 1.07 percent higher to 3,130.9 and India’s Sensex gained 1.87 percent to 20,445.04.

Gains for the Sensex came after India’s supreme court overturned a lower court’s ruling that ordered a copper smelter to close.

Australia’s markets were slightly lower, with the Sydney Ordinaries dropping 0.05 percent to 4,634.7 while the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.08 percent to 4,579.2.

New York markets were mixed in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.24 percent to 10,813.79 and the S&P 500 was up 0.19 percent to 1,143.33, but the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.07 percent to 2,366.85.

Crude oil prices were higher as West Texas Intermediate crude traded above $81 per barrel, while metals prices gained as December gold traded at $1,316.70 per troy ounce in midday trade in New York.

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