Lloyds Banking Group leads declines on FTSE 100

| June 24, 2011 | 0 Comments
Lloyds Banking Group leads declines on FTSE 100

Most equities markets in Europe were lower Friday, but London’s markets managed gains as the FTSE 100 added 0.41 percent and the FTSE 250 gained 0.65 percent to 11,528.2 after leaders of the European Union, meeting in Brussels, pledged to support Greece ahead of a vote in the Greek parliament on austerity measures, scheduled for 30 June.

London’s markets were also helped by a gain in German business confidence after the Ifo business climate index came in with a reading of 114.5 in June after being at 114.2 in May and despite expectations that it would drop to 113.4.

Despite gains, London banks were lower as three of the top five declines on the 100 came from the sector, led by Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) with a decline of 4.14 percent, although HSBC Holdings managed to add 0.3 percent on the session, while over on the 250, plastic packaging specialist RPC Group was the worst performer as it dropped 3.9 percent.

Chipmaker ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) turned in the best performance on the 100 as it added 3.8 percent, while homebuilder Berkeley Group Holdings (LSE: BKG) led gains on the 250 and in its all-higher sector as it advanced 10.88 percent after it said profits were up 10 percent in the full fiscal year, selling more homes at higher prices.

The travel and leisure sector was all higher with the exception of airlines, while the utilities sector was up except for one decliner, there were only two decliners in the media sector and only 3 declines each among retailers and in the food and beverage sector.

Most miners were also higher, although there were seven decliners in the sector, while the chemicals, energy financial services, technology and telecommunications sectors were all mixed, the real estate sector was mostly lower and insurers saw declines.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.07 percent to 1,074.95 while the CAC-40 fell 0.08 percent to 3,784.8, the Dax was 0.39 percent lower to 7,121.38 and the IBEX dropped 1.31 percent and saw only two gainers.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher as concerns receded that the debt crisis in Europe will harm banks and after oil prices plunged Thursday when the International Energy Agency announced that it will release 60 million barrels of oil to help cover lost production from Libya.

Additionally, gains were helped on the possibility that China will not tighten monetary policy any further after written comments from Premier Wen Jiabao indicating that measures already taken have worked to the government’s satisfaction.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.85 percent to 8,678.71 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.93 percent to 833.2 and the Mothers market gained 0.19 percent to 447.11.

The retail sector was hurt my comments from Japan’s Economy Minister that he thinks the consumption, or sales, tax there should be hiked from 5 percent to 10 percent by 2015, although the last time it was raised, in 1997, Japan entered a recession, while shippers gained after the Baltic Dry Index, which tracks shipping rates for commodities, was up for the first time in several days.

Consumer electronics manufacturer Sony (TYO: 6758), which gets 30 percent of its sales in Europe, was up 2.4 percent, while chipmaker and nuclear power plant builder Toshiba (TYO: 6502) added 4.9 percent after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities raised its recommendation from “neutral” to “outperform”.

Australia’s markets saw gains as the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.08 percent to 18,240.7 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.17 percent to 4,508.1, while the Straits Times Index was 0.73 percent higher to 3,066.85 in Singapore, South Korea’s Kospi was up 1.7 percent to 2,090.81, the Hang Seng added 1.9 percent to 22,171.9 in Hong Kong, the Shanghai Composite was 2.16 percent higher to 2,746.21 and India’s Sensex gained 2.89 percent to 18,240.7, but the Taiex dropped 0.4 percent to 8,532.83 in Taiwan.

New York equities markets were lower in midday trade on concerns about debt in Europe ahead of Greece’s parliamentary vote on austerity measures, and on new worries about the position of Italian banks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.91 percent to 11,940 while the S&P 500 dropped 1.1 percent to 1,269.39 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.18 percent lower to 2,654.98.

Crude oil prices were lower again on concerns that supply will top demand and on yesterday’s announcement that the International Energy Agency will release 60 million barrels of oil into world markets over the next month, with August contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude down 62 cents at midday, while Brent crude was lately reported down $2.24 to $105.02 per barrel.

Prices for precious metals were lower in New York in midday trade, but copper had added 6 cents per pound after the Commerce Department said that US durable-goods orders were up 1.9 percent in May.

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