Eurasian Natural Resources leads miners, FTSE 100 higher
European equities markets were higher Wednesday, pushed up by banks that were higher on a bond auction by Portugal and on the possibility that the European Union will step up its efforts to solve the region’s debt crisis.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.61 percent to 6,050.72 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.26 percent to 11,765.3.
Miners led gains on the 100, with three sector constituents among the top five gainers on the index, as Eurasian Natural Resources added 4.36 percent for the best performance on the 100, while Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) was up 4.27 percent and Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) gained 3.66 percent.
Kazakhyms and Vedanta were up after Deutsche Bank boosted its recommendation on both miners from “hold” to “buy”.
The best performer of the session in the mining sector came from Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR), which was up 7.02 percent, while the three decliners in the sector were topped by a 1.73 percent decline by Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY).
London banks joined other European banks in gains, led by HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA) with an advance of 3.82 percent on positive broker comment, while Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) was up 3.63 percent.
The best performance on the 250 came from clothing retailer SuperGroup (LSE: SGP), which added $19.42 after it said its sales grew by 90 percent over the Christmas buying season.
Investments manager Gartmore Group (LSE: GRT) added 13.69 percent after Henderson Group (LSE: HGG) said it will buy Gartmore in an all-stock deal.
The news sent Henderson Group up 9.26 percent on the session.
A broker upgrade sent Old Mutual (LSE: OML) 3.15 percent higher as Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its recommendation on the insurer from “neutral” to “buy”, while in the chemicals sector, surfactant and dietary supplements manufacturer Croda International (LSE: CRDA) added 5.38 percent after Citigroup boosted its recommendation from “hold” to “buy”.
The worst performance of the sesison on the 100 came from automotive and aerospace engineering group GKN (LSE: GKN), which was down 2.61 percent, while the biggest decliner on the 250 was Telecity Group (LSE: TCY) with a decline of 4.48 percent.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.38 percent to 1,162.98 while the Dax added 1.83 percent to 7,068.78, the CAC-40 was 2.15 percent higher to 3,945.07 and the IBEX gained 5.42 percent to 10,101.2.
Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher.
The Nikkei 225 added 0.02 percent to 10,512.8 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was up 0.29 percent to 929.64 but the Mothers market dropped 0.2 percent to 458.34.
Banks were higher in Tokyo on hopes that the appointment of the governor of the Bank of Japan as vice chairman of the Bank for International Settlements will put him in a position to protect the nation’s banks from regulations that could put them at a disadvantage.
Mitsubishi UFJ (TYO: 8306) was up 3.6 percent while Mizuho Financial Group (TYO: 8411) added 3.1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) was 2.7 percent higher.
The Straits Times Index gained 0.11 percent to 3,244.94 in Singapore, while in Australia the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.29 percent to 4,724.2 and the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.35 percent to 4,831.9.
South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.32 percent to 2,094.95, the Taiex added 0.38 percent to 8,965 in Taiwan, the Shanghai Composite was 0.62 percent higher to 2,821.3, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.54 percent to 24,125.6, and the Sensex gained 1.76 percdent to 19,534.1.
New York markets were higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.89 percent to 11,775.6 at just before 1 p.m. local time, while the S&P 500 had added 0.91 percent to 1,286.14 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.63 percent higher to 2,734.04.
Crude oil prices were higher in midday trade, with West Texas Intermediate crude at nearly $92 per barrel after the US Energy Information Administration reported that crude stockpiles were 2.2 million barrels lower last week, much more of a decline than had been expected, but gasoline inventories added 5.1 million barrels and distillates in storage were up by 2.7 million barrels.
Among metals, gold was down $2.50 per troy ounce at midday, but silver and copper were both higher.