Next gains on earnings

| September 14, 2011 | 0 Comments
Next gains on earnings

European equities markets were higher Wednesday as investors speculated that China might buy European bonds even though China’s premier said that nations with debt problems should not expect to be rescued.

The FTSE 100 was up 1.02 percent to 5,227.02 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.97 percent to 10,107.9.

Clothing retailer Next (LSE: NXT) led gains on the 100 as it added 6.34 percent after it reported that earnings were up in the first half of the year, while online grocery retailer Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO) added 10.51 percent for the best performance in the sector but consumer electronics retailer Kesa Electricals (LSE: KESA) dropped 7.04 percent as the worst performer in the sector.

Over on the 250, travel agent Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG) was the best performer on the index and in the travel and leisure sector as it added 15.39 percent, followed in the sector by a 9.12 percent gain for online gambler Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (LSE: BPTY) while InterContinental Hotels Group (LSE: IHG) was up 6.13 percent in the sector.

Imperial Tobacco Group (LSE: IMT) was the worst performer on the 100 as it dropped 2.04 percent, while ground engineering specialists Keller Group (LSE: KLR) was down 8.49 percent to lead declines on the 250.

The real estate sector was mostly lower, with Hansteen Holdings (LSE: HSTN) turning in the worst performance in the sector as it dropped 4.68 percent, while Land Securities Group (LSE: LAND) was down 1.79 percent and British Land Co (LSE: BLND) dropped 1.5 percent.

Most banks were higher in London, led by a 5.25 percent gain for Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY), but Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) was down 1.01 percent.

Oil explorer BP (LSE: BP) was up in a mostly higher energy sector, adding 3.54 percent after a US inquiry concluded that drilling contractor Transocean Ltd (NYSE: RIG) and oilfield services group Haliburton (NYSEL HAL) were both in violation of safety rules at the BP drilling platform that exploded last year, causing an extensive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.46 percent to 913.62 while the CAC-40 added 1.87 percent to 2,949.14, the IBEX was 2.7 percent higher to 8,045.7 and the Dax gained 2.26 percent to 5,340.19, with gains coming despite a cut on Societe Generale’s (Euronext: GLE) and Credit Agricole’s (LSE: ACA) credit ratings by Moody’s Investors Service, while Moody’s kept BNP Paribas (Euronext: BNP) on watch for a possible cut.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed after Wen Jiabao, China’s Premier, made it clear that China will not bail out Europe’s economy.

The Nikkei 225 was down 1.14 percent to 8,518.57 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 1.08 percent lower to 741.69 and the Mothers market dropped 3.92 percent to 405.37.

Banks were lower, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) down 1.6 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ dropped 1.8 percent.

Consumer electronics manufacturer Sharp Corp (TYO: 6753) added 3.3 percent on a JPMorgan upgrade from “underweight” to “neutral” after Sharp said it believes its sales in Indonesia will be up by 27 percent this fiscal year, but camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751), which gets about a third of its sales in Europe, dropped 4.1 percent.

Bridgestone Corp (TYO: 5108) was 1 percent higher on the announcement that its US unit will raise prices on its tires.

Markets were also down in Australia, where the S&P/ASX200 and the Sydney Ordinaries each dropped 1.64 percent, to 4,005.8 and 4,290.4 respectively, while the Taiex was 2.2 percent lower to 7,228.47 and South Korea’s Kospi was down 3.52 percent to 1,749.16.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.08 percent to 19,045.4, the Straits Times Index was up 0.37 percent to 2,739.35 in Singapore, the Shanghai Composite was 0.55 percent higher to 2,484.83 and India’s Sensex gained 1.47 percent to 16,709.6.

New York equities markets were higher in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.59 percent to 11,171.8 wnile the S&P 500 had added 0.71 percent to 1,181.17 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.08 percent higher to 2,559.52.

Crude oil prices were down in New York trade on concerns about a possible default by Greece and the downgrade of credit ratings for Credit Agricole (LSE: ACA) and Societe Generale (LSE: GLE), and even though the US Energy Information Administration said that US crude oil inventories dropped by 6.7 million barrels last week, a much larger drawdown than expected.

October contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude was down $1.50 to $88.71 per barrel at just before 12:30 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but Brent crude was last reported up 6 cents to $111.95 per barrel on the ICE Futures Crude exchange in London.

Metals prices were lower at midday in New York, with December gold down $10.40 to $1,819.70 per troy ounce while December silver had dropped 50 cents to $40.69 per troy ounce and December copper was 7 cents lower to $3.90 per pound.

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