Lonmin leads gains in London mining sector
Most European equities markets were higher Tuesday, with London’s markets seeing gains after taking Monday off for a bank holiday.
The FTSE 100 added 2.7 percent to 5,268.66 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 2.46 percent to 10,243.2 as banks and miners saw significant gains.
Platinum miner Lonmin (LSE: LMI) was the best performer in the mining sector and on the 100 as it added 8.51 percent as 13 of the sector’s components added 5 percent or more on the session and the only decline in the sector came from African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG), which was down by just 0.18 percent.
Consumer goods manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) turned in the worst performance on the 100 as it dropped just 0.28 percent, while oil explorer Exillon Energy (LSE: EXI) was down 4.12 percent as the worst performer on the 250, although it was the only decliner in an energy sector that saw six constituents add 5 percent or more during the day.
Home credit provider International Personal Finance (LSE: IPF) was the best performer on the 250, where it added 9.63 percent.
Home builders were higher, led by an 8.3 percent gain for Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV), while Bovis Homes (LSE: BVS) added 5.27 percent after it said profits more than doubled in the first half of the year.
London banks were higher, led by Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LSE: RBS), which was up 8.04 percent after Deutsche Bank upgraded it from “hold” to “buy”, while Deutsche Bank also reiterated its “buy” recommendation on Barclays (LSE: BARC), which was up 6.71 percent, and named it a “top pick”.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.9 percent to 939.08 while the CAC-40 added 0.18 percent to 3,159.74 and the IBEX gained 0.59 percent to 8,444.8, but the Dax was down 0.46 percent to 5,643.92.
Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly higher, although the Shanghai Composite was down 0.38 percent to 2,566.59, while Singapore’s markets were closed to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Tokyo’s markets were higher, with the Nikkei 225 up 1.16 percent to 8,953.9 while the Topix index added 1.12 percent to 767.3 and the Mothers market gained 1.28 percent to 451.79 after former Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda was elected Prime Minister by the lower house of parliament.
Consumer electronics manufacturer Sony (TYO: 6758) was up 3.54 percent on a media report that it will form a joint venture with Toshiba (TYO: 6502) and Hitachi (TYO: 6501) to make liquid-crystal displays.
Hitachi added 1.23 percent on the news, while Toshiba was up 2.11 percent.
Australia’s markets were higher, with the S&P/ASX200 up 0.14 percent to 4,269.2 while the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.18 percent to 4,341.4, while the Kospi was 0.78 percent higher to 1,843.82 in South Korea, Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.9 percent to 7,646.19, the Sensex was up 1.59 percent to 16,676.8 in India, where new data showed that the nation’s economy grew by 7.7 percent in the second quarter, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.71 percent to 20,204.2.
New York equities markets were mixed in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.24 percent to 11,511.7 and the S&P 500 was 0.3 percent lower to 1,206.4, but the Nasdaq Composite was 0.03 percent higher to 2,562.94.
Crude oil prices were up as investors disregarded a Conference Board report that its US consumer confidence index dropped to 44.5 in August from 59.2 in July, and after damage from Hurricane Irene was not as bad as expected on the US East Coast and there was no major damage to oil refineries in the region.
At around 12:30 p.m. in New York, prices for West Texas Intermediate crude were up $1.41 to $88.68 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude was last reported to be $2.01 higher to $113.89 per barrel.
Metals prices were also higher in New York, with gold adding $35.10 to $1,826.70 per troy ounce at midday, while silver was up 61 cents to $41.22 per troy ounce and copper had gained 5 cents to $4.16 per pound.