Schroders voting, non-voting shares top FTSE 100
European equities markets were higher as confidence in the economy grew there, and after the US Labor Department reported that filings for first-time unemployment benefits were unexpected down by 21,000 in the US last week to 434,000, raising hopes that the economy is beginning to recover.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.56 percent to 5,677.89 in London, while the FTSE 250 was 0.2 percent higher to 10,848.83.
Asset managers Schroders (LSE: SDR, SDRt) led gains on the 100 with voting shares adding 4.59 percent while non-voting shares were up 3.99 percent.
Over on the 250, wind turbine gearbox manufacturer Hansen Transmissions International (LSE: HSN) led gains on the index and in the energy sector, adding 8.43 percent, but the sector did have some decliners, led by oil and gas explorer Afren (LSE: AFR), which was down 3.86 percent.
Food manufacturer Premier Foods (LSE: PFD) was the biggest decliner on the 250 and the only loser in the food and beverages sector as it dropped 4 percent, while the best performer in the sector was food processor Cranswick (LSE: CWK) with a gain of 4.97 percent.
Aggreko (LSE: AGK), which offers power generators for hire, was the biggest loser on the 100, falling 4.21 percent on a broker downgrade to “sell” despite the fact that sales were up by 30 percent in the third quarter.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) dropped 3.27 percent to lead declines in the health care sector after it put aside $473 million to deal with liability suits over an anti-psychotic drug and after it said prifits were down 27 percent in the third quarter on competition in the US and lagging demand for swine flu vaccine, while medical devices manufacturer Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN) fell 2.35 percent for the second-biggest decline in the sector.
London banks were mixed, with Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) doing the best as it added 2.82 percent, while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) was the worst performer in the sector as it dropped 1.77 percent.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.48 percent to 1,086.74 while the Dax added 0.42 percent to 6,595.28 and the CAC-40 and the IBEX each gained 0.5 percent, to 3,834.84 and 10,753.5 respectively.
Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on the session.
The Nikkei 225 was down 0.22 percent to 9,366.03 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 0.42 percent to 814.33 and the Mothers market dropped 1.12 percent to 346.99 as many stocks rose or fell depending on reports and projections.
Gainers included computer hardware and software group Fujitsu Ltd (TYO: 6702), which added 3.3 percent after it said that quarterly profit doubled in the most recent quarter, while camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751) was up 3.7 percent on a higher full-year net-income outlook and industrial robot manufacturer Fanuc (TYO: 6954) gained 5.5 percent on first-half income that was up six times.
On the other hand, Asahi Glass (TYO: 5201) was down 4.2 percent as operating profit was up 70 percent in the third quarter from the same time last year but declined from second-quarter levels, while Toto Titanium (TYO: 5727) dropped 5.5 percent after it increased its prediction of how much it will lose in the full year.
The Bank of Japan kept interest rates at nearly zero and moved up its next meeting to 4-5 November, just after the US Federal Reserve’s next scheduled meeting.
Other indexes seeing declines included South Korea’s Kospi, which fell 0.09 percent to 1,907.87 while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.15 percent to 2,992.58 and India’s Sensex was down 0.32 percent to 19,941.
The Straits Times Index added 0.16 percent to 3,129.5 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.2 percent to 23,210.9 and the Taiex was 0.76 percent higher to 8,354.05.
In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.68 percent to 4,752.8 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.79 percent to 4,684.9.
New York markets were helped higher by the decline in new jobless claims, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.41 percent to 11,080.2 at just past 1 p.m. local time, while the S&P 500 was up 0.22 percent to 1,179.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.35 percent higher to 2,494.62.
Crude oil prices were slightly higher, with West Texas Intermediate crude up 9 cents to $82.03 per barrel at 1 p.m. in New York, while Brent crude was most recently 23 cents higher to $83.46 per barrel in London.
Metals prices were also higher, led by a gain of $18.60 to $1,341.20 per troy ounce.