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December 10, 2010    

Vedanta Resources adds most on 100

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by Elaine Frei
Vedanta Resources adds most on 100

European equities markets were mixed Friday although some investors and analysts had hopes that debt problems in the region will resolve and on predictions that markets in the region will be up by 12 percent by the end of 2011.

News from the US also tended to be positive as the trade deficit contracted in October and the preliminary December reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer confidence index was up to 74.2, from a final reading of 71.6 in November.

The FTSE 100 was 0.09 percent higher to 5,812.95 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.16 percent to 11,281.

Miners were mixed, with gainers benefiting from new data showing that copper imports into China are up.

Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) led gains in the sector and on the 100, adding 3.17 percent, while Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR) dropped 2.96 percent for the worst performance in the sector.

Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) was the biggest decliner on the 100 and in a mostly lower London banking sector, falling 2.62 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded the banks shares from “buy” to “neutral”, while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) was the only gainer in the sector as it added 0.18 percent.

The energy sector was mixed as oil and gas explorer Afren (LSE: AFR) gained 5.07 percent to lead gains on the 250, followed by a gain of 4.36 percent for wind turbine gearbox manufacturer Hansen Transmissions International (LSE: HSN), while the biggest decline in the sector came from BG Group (LSE: BG), which was down 2.29 percent.

The real estate sector was mixed, with gains led by Daejan Holdings (LSE: DJAN), which added 4.81 percent.

Technology company Imagination Technologies Group (LSE: IMG) was the worst performer on the 250 as it dropped 4.86 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.14 percent to 1,125.3 and the Dax added 0.6 percent to 7,006.17, but the CAC-40 was down 0.02 percent to 3,857.35 and the IBEX dropped 0.62 percent to 10,121.9.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed Friday as some investors continued to be concerned about what China will do to rein in its economy as a three-day meeting, the Central Economic Work Conference, convenes there as government leaders and leaders of major state-run businesses get together to chart economic policy for next year, while investors were concerned that Fitch Ratings’ moved to reduce Ireland’s debt rating yesterday.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.72 percent to 10,212 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 0.38 percent to 888.22 but the Mothers market added 0.98 percent to 401.4.

Hitachi Construction Machinery (TYO: 6305) was down 1.1 percent while Komatsu (TYO: 6301) dropped 2.2 percent.

Industrial robot maker Fanuc (TYO: 6954) which, like Hitachi and Komatsu, does substantial business in China, was 1.9 percent lower.

Carmakers were also lower, with Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261) fell 1.2 percent, while Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) and Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) each dropped 1.4 percent, and Isuzu Motors (TYO: 7202) was down 3.42 percent.

Other decliners in the region included a drop of 0.04 percent to 23,162.9 for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, while the Kospi was down 0.14 percent to 1,986.14 in South Korea, Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.4 percent to 8,718.83 and the Straits Times Index was 0.77 percent lower to 3,185.42 in Singapore.

The Sydney Ordinaries added 0.05 percent to 4,830 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.1 percent to 4,745.9 in Australia, while in China the Shanghai Composite was 1.07 percent higher to 2,841.04 and India’s Sensex gained 1.39 percent to 19,508.9.

New York markets were up on better consumer sentiment and on data from the US Commerce Department showing that the US trade deficit narrowed more than anticipated in October, to $38.7 billion.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.17 percent higher to 11,388.9 while the S&P 500 added 0.34 percent to 1,237.17 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.48 percent to 2,629.19.

Crude oil prices fell at midday in New York, with both West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crude reported down 59 cent per barrel, while precious metals prices also declined but copper was up 2 cents to $4.11 per pound.

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