TUI Travel leads gains on FTSE 100
European equities markets were mixed Thursday as many prepared to take a break for the Christmas holiday, helped by mostly positive data from the US, where consumer sentiment was reported up and while durable goods orders were lower overall, they were up if transportation orders were excluded.
The FTSE 100 added 0.21 percent to 5,996.07 after being above 6,000 for awhile earlier in the session, while the FTSE 250 gained 0.17 percent to 11,569.2, with gains helped by data from the US Labor Department which showed that first-time unemployment claims in the United States were down 3,000 to 420,000 last week and continuing claims were at a two-year low in the latest figures, to 4.06 million.
TUI Travel (LSE: TT) led gains on the 100, adding 2.48 percent as bad weather eased, allowing more airline flights to get off the ground as the Christmas holiday approached, while elsewhere in the travel and leisure sector motor vehicle rental agent Avis Europe (LSE: AVE) led the sector’s advances, gaining 4.16 percent.
The worst performance in the travel and leisure sector came from online gambler PartyGaming (LSE: PRTY), which was down 1.06 percent.
Retailers were mostly higher, led by DIY retailer Kingfisher (LSE: KGF) with a gain of 2.17 percent, while clothing retailer Next (LSE: NXT) added 1.83 percent, but floor covering retailer Carpetright (LSE: CPR) led declines in the sector and on the 250 as it dropped 3.63 percent.
The best performance on the 250 came from oil explorer Exillon Energy (LSE: EXI), which was up 9.75 percent.
Product tester Intertek Group (LSE: ITRK) had the worst day on the 100, falling 2.53 percent.
Miners were mixed, with Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR) turning in the best performance in the sector as it added 1.85 percent, but three of the decliners in the sector were among the five worst performers of the day on the 100, with Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) down 1.22 percent for the worst day in the sector, while gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) dropped 1.12 percent and Xstrata (LSE: XTA) was 1.12 percent lower.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.09 percent to 1,146.58 while the Dax fell 0.14 percent to 7,057.69, the CAC-40 was 0.21 percent lower to 3,911.32 and the IBEX dropped 0.75 percent to 10,106.9.
Asian markets were mostly lower after China’s Ministry of Commerce said that it has told local branches around the country to look more closely at real estate investments by foreigners as a way to curb rising real estate prices, making investors worry about what other measures the government might take to cool down the real estate market.
Property companies were lower on the news, with Hong Kong-listed shares of Country Garden Holdings (SEHK: 2007) down 1.3 percent while China Overseas Land & Investment (SEHK: 0688) fell 1.4 percent and Shenzhen-listed China Vanke (SZSE: 000002) dropped 1.8 percent.
The Hang Seng was 0.62 percent lower to 22,903 in Hong Kong, while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.79 percent to 2,855.22.
Elsewhere in the region, South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.03 percent to 2,037.53 while the Sensex was 0.16 percent lower to 19,982.9 in India and the Straits Times Index dropped 0.21 percent to 3,137.78.
Markets were higher in Australia, where the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.38 percent to 4,888.2 and the S&P/ASX200 gained 0.43 percent to 4,799, while Tawian’s Taiex was also 0.43 percent higher, to 8,898.87.
Tokyo’s markets were closed in observance of the Emperor’s Birthday celebration.
New York markets were mixed in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.06 percent to 11,566.2, while at the same time the S&P 500 was down 0.19 percent to 1,256.49 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.25 percent lower to 2,664.7.
Crude oil prices were higher in New York at midday, with February contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude up $1.11 to $91.59, but metals prices were lower.
US markets will be closed Friday in an early start to the Christmas holiday.