Barclays Bank leads London sector higher

| May 25, 2011 | 0 Comments
Barclays Bank leads London sector higher

European equities markets made gains Wednesday on hopes that there will soon be an agreement on more economic help for Greece from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The FTSE 100 added 0.2 percent to 5,870.14 in London, but the FTSE 250 bucked trends and dropped 0.28 percent to 11,825.2 as banks were led higher by a 2.33 percent gain for Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) after reports that banks in Germany and Italy are in shape to pass European Union stress tests.

The mining and energy sectors were mixed, with Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR) adding 7.72 percent to lead gains on the 250 as well as in the mining sector, while the media sector was mostly lower although broadcaster ITV (LSE: ITV) was up 2.5 percent to lead winners on the 100 and the retail sector also saw more declines than gains.

The telecommunications sector was mostly lower, with Cable & Wireless Communications (LSE: CWC) leading declines in the sector and on the 250 as it dropped 11.65 percent after it said the outlook is “cautious” for the Caribbean region, where it does a major share of its business, while the utilities sector was mixed.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.8 percent to 1,127.74 while the Dax added 0.28 percent to 7,170.94, the CAC-40 was 0.31 percent higher to 3,928.99 and the IBEX gained 1 percent to 10,217.4.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower Wednesday, hurt by corporate results and outlooks in the region and by reports on manufacturing output in both the United States and China, with output unchanged in the US in April while a preliminary purchasing managers’ index in China for May showed factory activity down.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.57 percent to 9.422.88 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 0.17 percent lower to 817.74 and the Mothers market dropped 1.68 percent to 446.16 as Japan posted its first trade deficit in the month of April in 31 years on the effects of the 11 March earthquake and tsunami and as import costs were driven higher by gains in commodities prices.

Chipmakers were lower, including a 3.8 percent decline for Elpida Memory (TYO: 6665) after US-based Applied Materials Inc (NAS: AMAT), which manufactures chip-making equipment said profits will not rise to analyst forecasts, while the property sector was down on a prediction that office vacancy rates in Tokyo will be down this year and next, but carmakers saw gains after Deutsche Bank raised profits outlooks for Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) and Nissan Motors (TYO: 7201), with each managing to add 3.1 percent while Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) was up 2.2 percent.

Taiwan’s Taiex was down 0.34 percent to 8,727.09 while India’s Sensex and the Shanghai Composite each dropped 0.91 percent to 17,847.2 and 2,741.74 respectively, Australia’s markets were lower as the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.95 percent to 4,661.6 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.99 percent to 4,661.6, and the Kospi was 1.26 percent lower to 2,035.87 in South Korea.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng managed to add 0.07 percent to 22,747.3 and the Straits Times Index was up 0.18 percent to 3,118.65.

New York markets were higher in midday trade in New York, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.27 percent to 12,389.9 while the S&P 500 added 0.3 percent to 1,320.2 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.54 percent higher to 2,761.12 as revised data on durable goods orders in March overcame April orders that were reported down 3.6 percent.

Crude oil prices were higher after the US Energy Information Administration reported that distillates stockpiles, including heating oil and diesel and jet fuel, dropped by 2 million barrels in the United States last week against an expected gain, although crude oil inventories grew slightly and gasoline stockpiles grew by much more than expected during the week.

Metals prices were also higher, with silver up nearly 5 percent in New York while copper prices added 10 cents per pound.

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