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17th of July 2011
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Miner Fresnillo leads 100 higher as most shares decline

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by Elaine Frei

European equities markets were lower Thursday as the Italian Senate voted on budget cuts and after Fitch Ratings cut Greece’s credit rating and said that default was a real possibility for that country.

The FTSE 100 was down 1.01 percent to 5,846.95 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.65 percent to 11,766.6 as declines were widespread.

The mining sector was mixed but gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) was the best performer on the 100, adding 4.93 percent after it said output was up 7.2 percent, while Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC) led gains in the sector with an advance of 5.59 percent.

Premier Foods (LSE: PFD) led gains on the 250, adding 19.67 percent, while Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) gained 2.27 percent on higher revenues.

Construction and chemical engineering specialist to the energy sector Petrofac Ltd (LSE: PFC) turned in the worst performance on the 100 after Barclays cut its rating from “equal weight” to “underweight” with a decline of 3.79 percent, while travel agent Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG) dropped the most on the 250 after even bigger declines earlier in the week as it ell 15.57 percent, while it was followed lower in the travel and leisure sector with a 4.7 percent decline for TUI Travel (LSE: TT).

Still in the mostly lower travel and leisure sector, InterContinental Hotels Group (LSE: IHG) was down 3.2 percent after US-based hotel chain Marriott International (NYSE: MAR) said its earnings will fall short of analyst estimates.

Banks were lower except for Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY), which added 3.21 percent after Goldman Sachs upgraded it from “neutral” to “buy”, while the chemicals and telecommunications sectors also each saw just one gainer, the utilities and media sectors saw only two gains each and the energy sector and food and beverage sector each saw just three gainers.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.79 percent to 1,090.37 while the IBEX fell 0.71 percent to 9,598.6, the Dax was 0.73 percent to 7,214.74 and the CAC-40 dropped 1.11 percent to 3,751.23.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on the session, with some seeing declines after Moody’s Investors Service warned that it could cut its credit rating on the United States if the debt ceiling issue there is not resolved soon.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.27 percent to 9,936.12 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 0.42 percent lower to 856.88 and the Mothers market dropped 0.25 percent to 484.34.

Banks were lower, with Mizuho Financial Group (TYO: 8411) down 0.76 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ (TYO: 8306) fell 1.51 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) gained 2.3 percent.

Most carmakers were higher, including a gain of 1.89 percent for Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) while Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261) added 2.39 percent, but Toyota Motor dropped 0.74 percent.

Other decliners in the region included Taiwan’s Taiex, which was down 0.08 percent to 8,481.35, and Australia’s markets dropped with the Sydney Ordinaries down 0.48 percent to 4.561.3 while the S&P/ASX200 was 0.53 percent lower to 4,490.7.

Most gainers in the region were not up by much as the Straits Times Index added 0.01 percent to 3,088.7 in Singapore, South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.02 percent to 2,130.07, the Hang Seng was 0.06 percent higher to 21,940.2 in Hong Kong, India’s Sensex gained 0.12 percent to 18,618.2 and the Shanghai Composite was up 0.54 percent to 2,810.44.

New York equities markets declined as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a second day of testimony before a congressional committee, said that too many budget cuts by the government could hurt the economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.28 percent to 12,456.6 while the S&P 500 had dropped 0.51 percent to 1,310.98 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.13 percent to 2,765.4.

Crude oil prices were lower as the US dollar strengthened, with West Texas Intermediate crude dropped $2.37 to $95.68 per barrel in New York, while recent reports from London showed Brent crude trading $1.44 lower to $116.41 per barrel.

Gold added another $4.10 to $1.589.60 per troy ounce in midday trade and silver had added 83 cents to just below $40 per troy ounce, but copper was down 2 cents to $4.38 per pound.

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News posted: July 14, 2011

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