US online gambler indictments send Bwin.party Digital higher in London
London markets were mostly lower, with only one gainer each in several sectors, with markets hurt by Standard & Poor’s reduced long-term outlook on US credit, from “stable” to “negative”, and by a statement from the International Monetary Fund that it considers Greece’s debt unsustainable.
The FTSE 100 was down 2.1 percent to 5,870.08 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 1.61 percent to 11,490.8.
By far the biggest gainer in London was Bwin.party Digital Entertainment as the internet gambler added 29.77 percent after the three largest poker sites in the United States were shut down and indicted by the US government.
Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker were all charged with money laundering, illegal gambling and bank fraud as the US government accused them of violations of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
There were only two gainers on the 100, an advertiser and a government services provider, while the mining, energy and insurance sectors all had just one gainer each, while banks were lower and the travel and leisure sector saw only five gainers.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.71 percent to 1,112.42, while the IBEX fell 2.02 percent to 10,344.9, the Dax was 2.11 percent to 7,026.85 and saw only two gainers and the CAC-40 dropped 2.35 percent to 3,881.24 with no gainers.
Markets in Asia and the Pacific region were mostly lower after the People’s Bank of China again raised reserve requirements for banks, with the biggest banks required to keep 20.5 percent in reserve beginning on 21 April.
The Nikkei 225 was down 0.36 percent to 9.556.65 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 0.59 percent to 836.34, but the Mothers market managed to add 0.35 percent to 437.89, with decliners in the electronics sector and among construction machinery manufacturers, while Tokyo Electric Power (TYO: 9501) dropped another 0.4 percent after it said it might take as much as nine months to stop radiation leaks and bring reactors under control at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power facility.
Other decliners in the region included Taiwan’s Taiex, which dropped 0.04 percent to 8,714.48, while the Kospi was down 0.13 percent to 2,137.72 in South Korea, the Straits Times Index dropped 0.28 percent to 3,144.38 in Singapore, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 0.74 percent lower to 23,830.3 and the Sensex was down 1.53 percent to 19,091.2.
Markets were higher in Australia as the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.12 percent to 4,945.4 and the S&P/ASX200 gained 0.2 percent to 4,861.9 and the Shanghai Composite was up 0.22 percent to 3,057.33 although banks there declined on the news of the higher reserve requirements.
The reduced long-term outlook for the United States’ credit rating hurt New York equities markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.31 percent to 12,180.7 in afternoon trade, while at the same time the S&P 500 had dropped 1.18 percent to 1,304.06 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.31 percent lower to 2,728.36.
Among commodities, crude oil prices were significantly lower while precious metals were up but copper again declined in New York trade.