RBS leads London banks higher

| September 13, 2011 | 0 Comments

European equities markets were higher Tuesday as banks came back from big declines on Monday, helped by a statement from Societe Generale’s (Euronext: GLE) CEO that his bank is healthy.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.87 percent to 5,174.25 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.27 percent to 10,011, with banks the best performers on the 100 and pubs operators seeing the best results on the 250.

Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) was up 5.34 percent to lead banks and the 100 higher, followed by a 4.69 percent gain for Barclays (LSE: BARC) while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) added 4.16 percent.

Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE) was the worst performer on the 100, dropping 8.16 percent after it said it has plugged an exploration well off the coast of Greenland, the second well it has given up on in the area recently, because it found no evidence there of oil or gas, although it will continue to drill at another nearby well.

Over on the 250, Mitchells and Butlers (LSE: MAB) added 6.54 percent and was the best performer on the index after it said that a possible bid from Piedmont Inc., which already holds 22.8 percent of the pubs and restaurants operator, was “significantly” below M&B’s value, while pubs operator Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI) was also higher, gaining 6.04 percent.

Computer hardware and software company Kofax (LSE: KFX) dropped 4.42 percent to lead declines on the 250, while oil and gas explorer SOCO International (LSE: SIA) was down 3.87 percent and investment managers Ashmore Group (LSE: ASHM) was 3.73 percent lower.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.94 percent to 899.32 while the CAC-40 added 1.41 percent to 2,894.93, the Dax was 1.85 percent higher to 5,166.36 and the IBEX gained 2.53 percent to 7,834.2.

Banks were higher in Europe after significant declines on Monday, with Societe Generale (Euornext: GLE) up 15 percent in Paris while BNP Paribas (Euronext: BNP) added 7.2 percent, while in Germany Deutsche Bank (FWB: DBK) was 8.2 percent higher.

Markets in Asia and the Pacific region were mixed.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.95 percent to 8,616.55 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 1.15 percent to 749.82 and the Mothers market gained 0.69 percent to 421.89 after comments from European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet calmed concerns about Europe’s debt crisis.

Banks were up on Mr. Trichet’s remarks, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) up 1.2 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ (TYO: 8306) added 2.5 percent.

Semiconductor related shares were higher on indications that prices for chips won’t go any lower, as Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co (TYO: 7735) and Advantest (TYO; 6857) each added 4.8 percent and Elpida Memory (TYO: 6665) was 13 percent higher.

Oil producer Inpex (TYO: 1605) was up 1.6 percent on higher oil prices, but games and console maker Nintendo (TYO: 7974) dropped 5.1 percent on predictions that sales won’t meet targets.

Australia’s markets were also higher as the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.81 percent to 4,158.4 and the S&P/ASX200 added 0.85 percent to 4,072.7, but the Sensex was down 0.21 percent to 16,467.4 in India, Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.52 percent to 2,729.37, the Shanghai Composite was 1.06 percent lower to 2,471.3, and Taiwan’s Taiex dropped 2.88 percent to 7,391.37.

Markets in Hong Kong and South Korea were closed for holidays.

New York equities markets were mixed in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.1 percent to 11,050.5, while the S&P 500 had added 0.4 percent to 1,166.89 and the Nasdaq was 0.74 percent higher to 2,513.54.

Crude oil prices were higher at midday in New York, with October contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude up $1.12 to $89.31 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange ahead of Wednesday’s weekly inventories report from the US Energy Information Administration, but Brent crude was lately reported down 41 cents to $111.84 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London after the International Energy Agency cut its prediction for global oil demand for this year and next year, citing the troubled economy.

Metals prices were up in midday trade in New York, with December gold up $18 to $1,831.30 per troy ounce while December silver added 73 cents to $40.95 per troy ounce and December copper was less than a cent higher to $3.97 per pound.

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