Vedanta, Ferrexpo lead 100, 250

| October 5, 2011
Vedanta, Ferrexpo lead 100, 250

Equities markets in Europe were higher Wednesday on the possibility that Eurozone finance ministers will put in place ways to protect banks from the region’s debt crisis.

The FTSE 100 was up 3.19 percent to 5,102.17 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 1.51 percent to 9,567.84.

Miners led gains on both the 100 and the 250, with Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) was up 8.54 percent on the 100, while iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) gained 11.77 percent to lead the 250 and the sector, while African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG) and Allied Gold Mining (LSE: ALD) tied as worst performers in the sector as each dropped 4.26 percent.

Satellite telecommunications group Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT) turned in the worst performance on the 100 as it dropped 6.02 percent, while retailer Mothercare (LSE: MTC) had the worst day on the 250 and in the retail sector as the specialist in merchandise for expectant mothers and young children dropped 41.94 percent after it said sales were “well below” projections and that the outlook for winter was down significantly.

Elsewhere in the retail sector, grocer J. Sainsbury (LSE:SBRY) added 3.6 percent for the best performance among retailers after it said that sales were up 1.9 percent in the second quarter, a figure that excluded sales of petrol but included the value added tax.

The energy sector was mostly higher, led by a gain of 8 percent for oil rig builder and refurbisher Lamprell (LSE: LAM), but Ophir Energy (LSE: OPHR) dropped 1.68 percent for the worst performance in the sector and Premier Oil (LSE: PMO) was down 0.83 percent on the news that it will buy EnCore Oil (LSE: EO), which added 64 percent on the announcement.

Clothing group SuperGroup Plc (LSE: SGP), listed in the personal goods sector, dropped 29.65 percent after it said that warehouse issues will lead to a drop in profits this year.

Banks saw gains, led by Barclays (LSE: BARC) with a gain of 7.69 percent while Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LSE: RBS) was up 5.02 percent.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower as investors there remained concerned that Europe’s debt crisis could spread after Moody’s Investors Service cut Italy’s credit rating from Aa2 to A2 with a negative outlook.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.86 percent to 8,382.98 in Tokyo,while the Topix index was 1.35 percent lower to 726.25 and the Mothers market dropped 1.96 percent to 385.87 as utilities declined on the possibility that the government will change how electricity is priced.

Kansai Electric Power (TYO: 9503) was down 4.2 percent while Tokyo Electric Power (TYO: 9501) dropped 12 percent.

Banks were lower, with Mitsubishi UFJ (TYO: 8306) down 1.8 percent while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) was 2.3 percent lower.

Fast Retailing (TYO: 9983) dropped 4 percent after it said domestic sales were down 10.7 percent at its Uniqlo clothing store chain locations open at least a year, and after JPMorgan Chase cut its rating on the retail group to “underweight”.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.09 percent to 2,528.71 in Singapore, India’s Sensex fell 0.46 percent to 15,792.4, the Taiex was 0.83 percent lower to 6,989.15 in Taiwan, and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 2.33 percent to 1,666.52, but Australia’s markets were higher as commodities prices saw gains, with the S&P/ASX200 up 1.4 percent to 3,926.5 while the Sydney Ordinaries added 1.45 percent to 3,992.5.

Markets in China and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

New York equities markets were higher in early afternoon trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.25 percent to 10,835.3 while the S&P 500 had added 0.48 percent to 1,129.31 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.16 percent higher to 2,432.69.

Prices for crude oil were higher after the US Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil stockpiles in the US dropped by 4.7 million barrels last week against expectations that inventories would grow by 2.5 million barrels, while gasoline stockpiles dropped by 1.1 million barrels and distillates in storage were down by 700,000 barrels.

November contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were up $2.94 to $78.61 per barrel in midday trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude was last reported up $2.20 to $101.99 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Metals prices were higher as December gold added $24.50 to $1,640.50 per troy ounce at midday in New York and December silver was up 53 percent to $30.37 per troy ounce, while December copper held steady in new York trade at $3.10 per pound three-month contracts added $20 to $6,820 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange.

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