Aquarius Platinum leads miners higher in London

| August 17, 2011 | 0 Comments
Aquarius Platinum leads miners higher in London

European equities markets were mixed Wednesday, with the FTSE 100 down 0.49 percent to 5,331.6 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.42 percent to 10,369.4, while the Dax was also lower but the CAC-40 and the IBEX both saw gains.

Most miners were higher in London, with Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) leading the sector’s gains as it added 6.65 percent, while the top three gainers on the 100 were all from the sector, with Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) up 5.64 percent on higher prices for gold, Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC) adding 3.72 percent after it reported that profits were up 29 percent in the first half of the year, and Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) 2.77 percent higher.

On the other hand, Talvivaara Mining Company (LSE: TALV) dropped 7.44 percent to lead declines in the mining sector and on the 250 after reporting an operating loss in the second quarter and saying that market conditions have become even more challenging in the third quarter.

The energy sector was mostly lower, with Petrofac Ltd (LSE: PFC), which provides construction and engineering services to the energy sector, down 3.78 percent for the worst performance in the sector, while oil rig builder and refurbisher Lamprell (LSE: LAM) up 0.66 percent to lead just two gainers in the sector.

Most insurers were lower, with Standard Life (LSE: SL) leading declines in the sector and on the 100 as it dropped 5.13 percent, while textile rentals and maintenance specialist Berendsen (LSE: BRSN) led gains on the 250, adding 6.96 percent on the session.

Banks were lower in London, led by a 4.21 percent decline for Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC), while Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LSE: RBS) dropped 3.81 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.31 percent to 972.13 while the IBEX added 0.62 percent to 8,728.2 and the CAC-40 gained 0.73 percent to 3,254.34, but the Dax dropped 0.77 percent to 5,948.94 and saw no gainers on the session.

Markets in Asia and the Pacific region were mixed as some were helped by positive earnings reports and by hourly wages that were up 0.9 percent in Australia in the second quarter after being up 0.8 percent in the first quarter.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.55 percent to 9,057.26 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 0.31 percent lower to 776.65 but the Mothers market added 1.92 percent to 459.06 on reports that the president of France and the German chancellor had both said to no a plan to expand funds aimed at ending Europe’s debt crisis, and on a report from the US Commerce Department that US housing starts were down 1.5 percent in July from June and that building permits for future construction also dropped.

Chipmakers were down after US-based computer manufacturer Dell (NAS: DELL) cut its revenue outlook on slower demand, with Renesas Electronics (TYO: 6723) down 2.7 percent while Elpida Memory (TYO: 6665) was 3.9 percent lower and Sumco Corp (TYO: 3436) dropped 5.1 percent.

Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) was down 1.5 percent as many exporters were hurt by new signs that the European and US economies are slowing, while oil producers declined after crude oil prices fell Tuesday.

Other decliners in the region included the Straits Times Index, which was down 0.15 percent to 2,828.53 in Singapore, while the Shanghai Composite was 0.26 percent lower to 2,601.26 and Taiwan’s Taiex dropped 0.73 percent to 7,741.76.

The Hang Seng added 0.38 percent to 20,289 in Hong Kong, India’s Sensex was up 0.66 percent to 16,840.8 in India, South Korea’s Kospi was 0.68 percent higher to 1,892.67, and Australia’s markets advanced as the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.26 percent to 4,371.8 and the S&P/ASX200 added 1.33 percent to 4,303.9.

New York’s equities markets were mixed in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.06 percent to 11,398.7 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.49 percent to 2,511.19, but the S&P 500 was up slightly, adding 0.09 percent to 1,193.89.

Crude oil prices were up in midday trade in New York, with West Texas Intermediate crude up $1.12 to $87.77 per barrel, while Brent crude was last reported up $1.95 to $111.08 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, but earlier gains were trimmed after the US Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil stockpiles were up by 4.2 million barrels last week against an expectation that inventories would drop by half a million barrels, while distillates in storage were also higher but gasoline stockpiles dropped by 3.5 million barrels last week.

Metals prices were also up in New York trade, with gold up $1.80 to $1,786.80 per troy ounce but had come off a rise to a new intraday high of $1,797.60 per troy ounce earlier after closing at a record high of $1,785 per troy ounce on Tuesday, while silver was up 21 cents to $40.06 per troy ounce in midday trade today and copper added 5 cents to $4.06 per pound in New York while three-month contracts were as high as $9,019.25 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange before closing at $8,970 per tonne, up $140 on the session as investors looked for riskier deals.

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