Retailer Mothercare adds 9 percent

| October 11, 2011
Retailer Mothercare adds 9 percent

Most equities markets in Europe were lower Tuesday as questions remained about whether Slovakia will ratify the newly revised Eurozone bailout fund in a vote scheduled for later in the day.

Slovakia is the only Eurozone nation that has not approved the new plan.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.06 percent to 5,395.7 in London, but the FTSE 250 added 0.14 percent to 10,155.1.

The retail sector was mostly higher, with gains in the sector and on the 250 led by Mothercare (LSE: MTC), as the specialist in products for expectant mothers and young children added 9.19 percent, while winners on the 100 were topped by aerospace and defense contractor BAE Systems (LSE: BA), which added 3.96 percent.

Banks were higher, with sector constituents making up three of the top five gainers on the 100, led by Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LSE: RBS) with a gain of 2.8 percent, followed by Barclays (LSE: BARC), which was up 2.09 percent while Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) added 1.84 percent.

The food and beverage sector was mostly higher, but food manufacturer Premier Foods (LSE: PFD) dropped 7.09 percent to lead declines on the 250, while Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) was down 2.37 percent.

Investment managers Man Group (LSE: EMG) had the worst day on the 100 as it dropped 2.75 percent.

The mining sector was mostly lower, with decliners led by Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC), which was down 2.27 percent, but coal miner New World Resources (LSE: NWR) led the five gainers in the sector with a gain of 3.84 percent.

The energy sector was mixed as Exillon Energy (LSE: EXI) added 2.16 percent for the best performance in the sector, while oil rig builder and refurbisher Lamprell (LSE: LAM) dropped 4.1 percent as the sector’s worst performer.

CSR (LSE: CSR) was down 5.76 percent after Citigroup reduced its recommendation on the chipmaker from “neutral” to “sell”.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.47 percent to 959.32 while the CAC-40 was 0.25 percent lower to 3,153.52 and the IBEX dropped 0.53 percent to 8,845.5, but the Dax managed a gain of 0.3 percent to 5,865.01.

Greek banks were down significantly, with the four biggest lenders dropping between 16 percent and 20 percent each.

Markets in Asia and the Pacific region were mostly higher after Chinese lenders listed in Hong Kong saw gains after state-owned investor Central Huijin Investment Ltd bought shares in the nation’s four biggest national banks.

China Construction Bank (SEHK: 0939) was up 5.8 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (SEHK: 1398) added 6.7 percent, Bank of China (SEHK: 3988) was 7.7 percent higher and Agricultural Bank of China (SEHK: 1288) gained 13 percent after the purchases were revealed.

Banks were also up in Tokyo, where the Nikkei 225 added 1.95 percent to 8,773.68 while the Topix index was 1.81 percent higher to 755 and the Mothers market gained 2.45 percent to 406.57.

Mitsubishi UFJ (TYO: 8306) was up 2.4 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) gained 2.7 percent.

Oil producers were also higher, seeing gains after yesterday’s higher oil prices, with Inpex (TYO: 1605) 3.6 percent higher while Japan Petroleum Exploration (TYO: 1662) was up 3.9 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.16 percent to 2,348.52 while Australia’s markets were higher as the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.62 percent to 4,288.8 and the S&P/ASX200 gained 0.63 percent to 4,227.6, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was 0.93 percent higher to 2,693.05, the Kospi was up 1.62 percent to 1,795.02 in South Korea, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 2.43 percent to 18,141.6 and the Taiex gained 2.59 percent to 7,398.71 in Taiwan, but India’s Sensex was 0.13 percent lower to 16,536.5.

New York equities markets were mixed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.07 percent to 11,425.6 in midday trade but the S&P 500 was up 0.05 percent to 1,195.48 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.5 percent to 2,578.77.

Crude oil prices were up just before 12:30 p.m. in New York as November contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude added 64 cents to $86.05 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while at last report Brent crude was up $1.58 to $110.53 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Metals prices were mixed in New York at midday as silver added 12 cents to $32.10 per troy ounce, but gold had dropped $5.80 to $1,665 per troy ounce and copper was down 7 cents to $3.30 per pound while three-month contracts for copper had dropped 3.1 percent to $7,261 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange on demand concerns.

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