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09th of August 2011
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Barclays drops 4.44 percent to lead declines on FTSE 100

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by Elaine Frei
Barclays drops 4.44 percent to lead declines on FTSE 100

Banks were the biggest decliners as European equities markets were mostly lower Monday after Moody’s Investors Service again downgraded Greece’s credit rating, this time by three notches to Caa1 just a few days after Fitch Ratings declared Greece to be in “restricted default”, and on the inability of US legislators to come to an agreement on the debt ceiling in the United States.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.16 percent to 5,925.26 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.29 percent to 11,786.2 as Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) led declines in the banking sector and on the 100 with a decline of 4.44 percent, although Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) managed to add 0.19 percent.

Lloyd’s Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) was down 4.3 percent on a media report that it is thinking about an initial public offering for 632 bank branches it had hoped to sell, but that it has only received two offers for.

Over on the 250, consumer electronics retailer Dixons Retail (LSE: DXNS) dropped 6.11 percent to lead declines on that index and in its sector, followed by a 4.43 percent decline for pubs operator Punch Taverns (LSE: PUB) to lead the travel and leisure sector mostly lower.

Although there were more loser than gainers in the mining sector, gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) was up 2.86 percent to lead advances on the 100, while Domino’s Pizza UK & IRL (LSE: DOM) added 5.08 percent as one of the few gainers in the travel and leisure sector, making it the best performer on the 250 after it said half-hear profits were up by 15 percent.

There were no gainers at all in the insurance sector, while home builders and the telecommunications sector joined the banking sector in having only one gainer each, there were only two gainers in the chemicals sector and just three stocks advanced in the media sector, but the real estate sector was mostly higher with just three decliners.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.29 percent to 1,105.69 while the CAC-40 was 0.77 percent lower to 3,812.97 and the IBEX dropped 1.92 percent and saw only four gainers, but the Dax added 0.25 percent to 7,344.54.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly lower Monday as US legislators remained unable or unwilling to reach an agreement regarding raising the debt limit there in order to avoid a default that could hurt the global economy.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.81 percent to 10,050 in Tokyo, while the Topix index dropped 0.79 percent to 861.91 but the Mothers market managed to add 0.78 percent to 482.02 amid low trading volumes as utilities declined ahead of parliamentary vote scheduled for Tuesday on a bill that would require power companies to contribute to a compensation fund for victims of the meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facility in the wake of March’s earthquake and tsunami, with Chubu Electric Power (TYO: 9502) down 1 percent while Tokyo Electric Power (TYO: 9501), the owner of the Fukushima plant, down 1.5 percent.

Heavy machinery manufacturers were lower after US company Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) reported results that did not live up to expectations, with Hitachi Construction Machinery (TYO: 6305) down 1.5 percent while Kawasaki Heavy Industries (TYO: 7012) was 2.9 percent lower and Komatsu (TYO: 6301) dropped 3.1 percent, while carmakers and banks were also lower.

Elsewhere in the region Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down 0.36 percent to 3,171.55, the Hang Seng fell 0.68 percent to 22,293.3 in Hong Kong, the Taiex was 0.93 percent lower to 8,683.51 in Taiwan, South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.96 percent to 2,150.48, Australia’s markets were lower as the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 1.5 percent to 4,603.8 and the S&P/ASX200 fell 1.58 percent to 4,530.4, and the Shanghai Composite was 2.96 percent lower to 2,688.75.

The Sensex managed to add 0.8 percent to 18,871.3 in India.

New York equities markets were lower in early afternoon trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.29 percent to 12,643.8 while the S&P 500 was down 0.18 percent to 1,342.56 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.05 percent lower to 2,857.36.

Crude oil prices were lower on concerns that demand will decline if US legislators cannot agree to raise the debt ceiling, causing a default by the United States, while the same concerns sent gold $10 higher at midday after trading at $1,624.30 per troy ounce, a new record, as investors looked for safe places to put their cash.

Silver was slightly higher, but copper prices had dropped slightly in New York trade.

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News posted: July 25, 2011

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