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October 11, 2010    

Kenmare Resources leads gains on 250

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by Elaine Frei
Kenmare Resources leads gains on 250

European equities markets were mostly higher on the possibility that the US Federal Reserve could supply more help to the US economy after a recent report from the Labor Department showed that the economy in the US lost 95,000 jobs last month, many more than had been anticipated.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.26 percent to 5,672.4 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.75 percent to 10,804.84.

Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR) was up 11.57 percent on the 250 to lead gains in a mixed mining sector, while investment managers Man Group (LSE: EMG) added 2.64 percent for the best performance on the 100.

Clothing maker SuperGroup (LSE: SGP) was down 3.71 percent to lead declines on the 250, while software group Autonomy Corporation (LSE: AU) dropped 2.3 percent for the worst performance of the session on the 100, with its decline coming after Deutsche Bank cut its recommendation on the software maker from “buy” to “hold”.

In the telecommunications sector, BT Group (LSE: BT.A) fell 1.41 percent on a broker downgrade from “neutral” to “underweight”, while satellite telecommunications group Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT) added 2.06 percent on a Goldman Sachs upgrade from “neutral” to “buy”.

BP (LSE: BP) dropped 0.8 percent after Royal Bank of Scotland Group cut its recommendation on the oil company from “buy” to “hold”, saying that if share prices are to rise, investors have to think that they oil producer’s oil rig explosion and spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year was not a result of the company’s gross negligence.

Other decliners in the energy sector included wind turbine gearbox manufacturer Hansen Transmissions International (LSE: HSN), which fell 3.02 percent for the biggest decline in the sector, while oil and gas explorer Melrose Resources (LSE: MRS) dropped 2.26 percent.

The energy sector was mixed, however, with Petrofac Ltd (LSE: PFC) gaining 2.51 percent after the engineering group that provides services to the energy industry won a contract worth $250 million to manage a gas plant for Sharjah, the third largest of the United Arab Emirates, while oil and gas engineering services company John Wood Group (LSE: WG) was 4.54 percent higher to lead gains in the sector after it raised its outlook.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.28 percent to 1,073.63 while the CAC-40 added 0.14 percent to 3,768.49 and the Dax gained 0.28 percent to 6,309.51, but the IBEX dropped 0.19 percent to 10,700.8 in Madrid.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were up Monday, with gains coming on the possibility that the US Federal Reserve could make moves aimed at stimulating the economy in the United States.

Australian markets were also helped by a report that approvals for loans to buy houses were up in August from the month before, with the S&P/ASX200 adding 0.34 percent to 4,697.5 while the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.46 percent to 4,762.1.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.32 percent to 3,163.41 in Singapore, while India’s Sensex was 0.44 percent higher to 20,339.89, the Hang Seng added 1.15 percent to 23,207.31 in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite gained 2.49 percent to 2,806.94 in China.

The gains in Shanghai came on the chance that the yuan will strengthen more and after Moody’s Investors Service said last week that it could upgrade China’s debt rating soon.

Not all markets in the region were higher, however, as South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.38 percent to 1,889.91 the Taiex dropped 0.82 percent to 8,176.76 in Taiwan.

Tokyo’s markets were closed in observation of Health and Sports Day.

New York markets were slightly higher just before 1 p.m. local time ahead of corporate earnings reports due later in the week from Intel (NAS: INTC), JPMorgan Chase (LSE: JPM) and General Electric (LSE: GE), with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.05 percent to 11,011.51 while the S&P 500 was up 0.12 percent to 1,166.57 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.33 percent higher to 2,409.87.

Crude oil prices were down slightly in early afternoon trade, but West Texas Intermediate crude was still trading above $82 per barrel in New York trade.

Metals prices were up, led by a $9 gain for December gold prices which put it at $1,354.30 per troy ounce, again in record territory after Friday’s declines.

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