Inmarsat leads gains on FTSE 100
European equities markets were higher Friday after France, Spain, Italy and Belgium all banned short-sales, in which borrowed assets are sold with the intention of the borrower buying back the assets later to return them to the lender, with the seller hoping the price of the assets will drop between the sale and repurchase so that they will make money on the deal.
Gains also came after the US Commerce Department said that US retail sales were up by 0.5 percent in July, although a separate report said that consumer confidence in the US in down again.
The FTSE 100 added 3.04 percent to 5,320.03 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 2.88 percent to 10,432 as the telecommunications sector saw gains, with satellite telecommunications specialist Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT) up 9.73 percent to lead gains on the 100 while Spirit Pub company (LSE: SPRT) added 16.65 percent to lead gains in the mostly higher travel and leisure sector and on the 250.
Online grocery retailer Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO) was the worst performer in its sector and on the 250, dropping 5.36 percent, while DIY retailer Kingfisher (LSE: KGF) turned in the best performance among retailers after being recommended by UBS.
Banks were higher after Societe General reiterated its “overweight” recommendation on London’s banking sector, with Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) leading gains as it added 5.26 percent while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) added 5 percent.
The energy sector and home builders were also all higher in London.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 3.42 percent to 966.83 while the Dax added 3.45 percent to 5,997.74, the CAC-40 was 4.02 percent higher to 3,213.88 and the IBEX gained 4.82 percent to 8,647.3, with no decliners on the Dax, the CAC-40 or the IBEX.
Most miners were higher, but Randgold Resources was the only decliner on the 100 for the second consecutive day, dropping 0.24 percent, while Gem Diamonds (LSE: GEMD) was 2.46 percent lower to lead the sector’s five decliners and Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) added 6.34 percent to lead gains in the sector.
Markets in Asia and the Pacific region were mixed, with many still lower as investors worried that the slowdown in economic growth around the world will hurt corporate earnings.
The Nikkei 225 was down 0.2 percent to 8,963.72 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 0.35 percent lower to 768.19 and the Mothers market dropped 0.29 percent to 436.19 after the government cut itts outlook for Japan’s economic growth, citing the effects of the March earthquake there and declines in consumer spending.
Japanese carmakers were lower after analysts cut their estimates of how many vehicles will be sold in the United States this year, while construction machinery manufacturer Komatsu (TYO: 6301), which has China as its biggest market, dropped 0.8 percent after reports surfaced that Chinese regulators have put new curbs on real estate lending there.
Other markets seeing declines included Taiwan’s Taiex, which was down 1.06 percent to 7,637.02, while the Sensex fell 1.29 percent to 16,839.6 in India, South Korea’s Kospi was 1.33 percent lower to 1,793.31 and the Straits Times Index dropped 1.94 percent to 2,850.59.
On the other hand, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.13 percent to 19,620, the Shanghai Composite added 0.45 percent to 2,593.17, and in Australia the S&P/ASX200 was 0.77 percent higher to 4,172.6 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.82 percent to 4,237.9.
New York equities markets were higher in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.23 percent to 11,280.8, the S&P 500 was up 0.94 percent to 1,183.68, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.78 percent higher to 2,512.22.
Crude oil prices were slightly higher at midday in New York, with West Texas Intermediate crude up 70 cents per barrel but still trading below $87 per barrel while at last report Brent crude was 39 cents higher and trading close to $108.50 per barrel.
The price of gold had dropped $13.70 to trade at $1,737.80 per troy ounce at midday in New York, while silver was up by 26 cents per troy ounce and copper had added less than a cent per pound.