Ferrexpo leads London miners higher

| October 12, 2011
Ferrexpo leads London miners higher

European equities markets were higher Wednesday after both the European Commission President and the European Union’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner said that banks need to be shored up as part of the answer to solving the Eurozone’s debt crisis, but gains came only after earlier declines on a delay in Slovakia’s approval of a Eurozone bailout fund after a vote on the issue failed Tuesday.

The FTSE 100 added 0.85 percent to 5,441.8 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 1.62 percent to 10,320.

Miners were higher as copper prices rose on declining inventories that indicated demand is up, with iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) turning in the best performance in the sector as it added 7.91, while Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC) was the best performer on the 100 as it gained 7.44 percent, with Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) and Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) also among the top five gainers on the 100, adding 6.87 percent and 5.49 percent respectively.

Online gambler Betfair Group (LSE: BET) led gains on the 250, adding 8.48 percent, but two other gamblers were the only two decliners in the travel and leisure sector as casinos and online gambling operator Rank Group (LSE: RNK) was down 0.48 percent and online gambler Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (LSE: BPTY) dropped 0.09 percent.

Man Group (LSE: EMG) dropped the most on the 100 as the investment managers were down 5.96 percent, while the worst performance on the 250 came from food manufacturer Premier Foods (LSE: PFD), which dropped 19.98 percent in a mostly higher sector, although brewer SABMiller (LSE: SAB) declined 0.72 percent and food processor Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE) was down 0.24 percent.

The energy sector was mostly higher, led by a 7.78 percent gain for oil and natural gas explorer and producer Afren (AFR), but the five decliners in the sector were led by Lamprell (LSE: LAM) after the oil rig builder and refurbisher dropped 14.96 percent.

Banks and insurers were both higher as Barclays (LSE: BARC) led banks as it added 6.53 percent and Amlin (LSE: AML) was the best performer among insurers, gaining 7.95 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.5 percent to 975.81 while the IBEX added 2.05 percent to 9,026.5, the Dax was 2.21 percent higher to 5,994.47 and the CAC-40 gained 2.42 percent to 3,229.76.

Markets in Asia and the Pacific region were mixed, with gains for some coming on the possibility that China could be poised to help equities markets there after a state-owned investor bought shares of the nation’s biggest banks recently, causing speculation that stocks are undervalued in China.

But Japan’s markets were mostly lower after US aluminium producer Alcoa (NYSE: AA) reported earnings below analyst predictions on higher production costs and slower demand growth, with the Nikkei 225 down 0.4 percent to 8,738.9 while the Topix index was 0.21 percent lower to 753.44 but the Mothers market managed to add 0.68 percent to 409.35.

Several companies saw declines after flooding in Thailand interrupted production there, including a 2.2 percent drop for Honda Motor (TYO: 7267), while camera maker Nikon (TYO: 7731) was down 3.5 percent and chemical engineering specialist Showa Denko (TYO: 4004) was 5.1 percent lower.

Game maker Nintendo (TYO: 7974), which gets 40 percent of its sales in the America, was down 2.5 percent.

Shippers were higher after cargo rates went up.

Along with Tokyo’s markets, Taiwan’s Taiex was down 0.22 percent to 7,382.35 and Australia’s markets declined, with the Sydney Ordinaries dropping 0.52 percent to 4,266.4 while the S&P/ASX200 was 0.55 percent lower to 4,204.3, but the Kospi was up 0.81 percent to 1,809.5 in South Korea, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.04 percent to 18,329.5, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was 1.66 percent higher to 2,737.75, the Sensex was up 2.55 percent to 16,958.4 in India, and the Shanghai Composite gained 3.04 percent to 2.420.

New York equities markets were up in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.12 percent to 11,544.3 while at the same time the S&P 500 was up 1.45 percent to 1,212.82 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.26 percent higher to 2,615.68.

Crude oil prices were mixed at just before 12:30 p.m. in New York as November contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were down 15 cents to $85.66 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but Brent crude was recently reported up 94 cents to $111.67 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

The US Energy Information Administration’s weekly US inventories report was delayed until Thursday due to Monday’s Columbus Day holiday, while both the International Energy Agency and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cut their oil demand forecasts.

Metals prices were higher in New York trade, with December gold up $15.40 to $1,676.40 per troy ounce in midday trade while December silver added 50 cents to $32.50 per troy ounce and December copper had gained 10 cents to $3.39 per pound in New York while three-month copper was up $239 to $7,529 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange.

Copper prices were helped higher by a weaker US dollar and LME-monitored inventories dropped 1,525 tonnes while Shanghai inventories were also reported to be lower.

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