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November 17, 2010    

Experian adds 6 percent on FTSE 100

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by Elaine Frei
Experian adds 6 percent on FTSE 100

European equities markets were mostly higher Wednesday as steps were taken toward a determination of whether or not Ireland will receive a bailout, and on a drop in unemployment claims in the UK.

The FTSE 100 added 0.19 percent to 5,692.56 in London, but the FTSE 250 was 0.04 percent lower to 10,713.2 after new data showing that 3,700 fewer individuals received unemployment benefits in the UK in October, dropping the total to 1.47 million against an expected increase.

Credit information group Experian (LSE: EXPN) was up 6.33 percent for the best performance on the 100 after it said earnings were up, while over on the 250 the best performer was real estate group Daejan Holdings (LSE: DJAN), with a gain of 6.6 percent even as self-storage space provider Big Yellow Group (LSE: BYG) had the worst day among property groups as it dropped 3.37 percent.

Clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer (LSE: MKS) had the worst day in its sector and on the 250 as it fell 2.98 percent, while in the technology sector, Imagination Technologies (LSE: IMG) dropped 6.62 percent for the worst day on the 250.

Punch Taverns (LSE: PUB) led declines in the travel and leisure sector for the second consecutive session, dropping 4.91 percent on the 250, while hotels operators led gains in the sector, with InterContinental Hotels Group (LSE: IHG) up the most with a gain of 1.94 percent, followed by Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (LSE: MLC), which added 1.56 percent.

Most miners were up after yesterday’s declines, with Centamin Egypt Ltd. (LSE: CEY) adding 4.96 percent, while six decliners in the sector were led by African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG), which was down 2.09 percent.

The health care sector was mostly higher, led by drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK), which added 2.43 percent after its new lupus drug was backed for approval in the United States by a panel of the US Food and Drug Administration.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.56 percent to 1,092.68 while the Dax added 0.55 percent to 6,700.07, the CAC-40 was 0.79 percent higher to 3,792.35 and the IBEX gained 0.93 percent to 10,189.3.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower Wednesday after China’s premier was quoted as saying that the government there is putting together more plans to curb inflation, with commodities shares falling on concerns that the new policies in China will hurt demand for oil and metals.

Despite the declines for commodities-related shares, however, Japan’s markets saw gains as exporters were helped by a weaker yen, with the Nikkei 225 up 0.15 percent to 3,811.66 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.3 percent to 850.3 and the Mothers market gained 0.83 percent to 368.43.

Carmakers were higher, including a gain of 2 percent for Honda Motor (TYO: 7267), while Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261) added 3.1 percent on reports that several firms are stepping up to purchase the stake Ford Motor (NYSE: F) owns in the Japanese automobile manufacturer.

On the other hand, traders were lower, with Mitsubishi Corp (TYO: 8058) down 0.6 percent as Mitsui & Co (TYO: 8031) fell 1.3 percent.

Miners also saw declines in Tokyo as Dowa Holdings (TYO: 5714) was 0.8 percent lower and Sumitomo Metal Mining (TYO: 5713) dropped 1.3 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.11 percent to 1,897.11, while Taiwan’s Taiex was down 0.68 percent to 8,255.54 and in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries and the S&P/ASX200 each dropped 1.62 percent, to 4,705.1 and 4,624.3 respectively.

The Shanghai Composite was down 1.92 p3ercent to 2,838.86 in China, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 2.02 percent lower to 23,214.5.

Markets in India and in Singapore were closed in observance of holidays.

New York markets were up in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.01 percent to 11,024.4 while the S&P 500 was up 0.21 percent to 1,180.81 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.47 percent to 2,481.36.

Crude oil prices were lower even though US crude oil inventories dropped much more than had been expected last week, according to new data from the US Energy Information Administration, with West Texas Intermediate Crude down more than $1.50 per barrel in New York, while Brent crude dropped nearly a dollar in London trade.

Metals prices were mixed as silver advanced but gold and copper were both down at midday in New York.

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