Man Group, Jupiter Fund Management advance
European equities markets were higher Friday, with gains coming on hopes for a solution to the region’s debt crisis as the G20 finance ministers meet in Paris to discuss the crisis and a rescue plan that could cause holders of Greek bonds to take bigger losses.
The gains came despite the third credit rating cut in three years for Spain from Standard and Poor’s.
The FTSE 100 was up 1.17 percent to 5,466.36 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 1.06 percent to 10,338.5 as miners and oil companies saw gains on higher commodities prices.
The biggest gainers on both the 100 and the 250, however, were by investment managers, as Man Group (LSE: EMG) added 5.07 percent to lead winners on the 100, while Jupiter Fund Management (LSE: JUP) gained 9.04 percent as the best performer on the 250.
Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) was up 7.28 percent to lead gains in the mining sector after UBS raised its recommendation on the iron-ore miner, while copper miner Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) added 3.71 percent, while the five decliners in the sector were led by trader Glencore International (LSE: GLEN), which was down 3.03 percent and also led declines on the 100.
Hunting plc (LSE: HTG), which supplies the gas and oil industry, led gains in the energy sector as it added 5.41 percent Goldman Sachs imitated coverage with a “buy” recommendation, followed by a 4.71 percent gain for Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW), while the two decliners in the sector were led Salamander Energy (LSE: SMDR), which was 0.49 percent lower.
Most retailer were higher, but DIY retailer Home Retail Group (LSE: HOME) was the worst performer in the sector and on the 250 as it dropped 5.18 percent, while fellow DIY retailer Kingfisher (LSE: KGF) was down 1.07 percent.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.84 percent to 974.46 while the IBEX added 0.36 percent to 8,975.5, the Dax was 0.89 percent higher to 5,967.2 and the CAC-40 gained 0.97 percent to 3,217.89.
Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed, with more down than up after Standard and Poor’s cut Spain’s credit rating from AA to AA-minus, and after Fitch Ratings cut ratings on European banks UBS (SIX: UBSN), Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LSE: RBS).
The Nikkei 225 was down 0.85 percent to 8,747.96 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 1.32 percent lower to 748.81 and the Mothers market dropped 1.05 percent to 407.77.
Optics and camera maker Olympus Corp (TYO: 7733) was down 18 percent after President Michael Woodford was voted out by the company’s board and replaced with Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, while camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751) dropped 2.6 percent on the possibility that it could move production of inkjet printers after two plants in Thailand closed due to flooding.
The flooding in Thailand also played a part in declines for Honda Motor (TYO: 7267), which was down 2.4 percent after output at its Malaysia plant had to be reduced after the floods interrupted its supply of parts, while Nissan Motors (TYO: 7201), which earns 15 percent of its revenues in Europe, dropped 1.7 percent on concerns about the state of the Eurozone economy.
The Shanghai Composite was down 0.3 percent to 2,431.38, Australia’s markets declined as the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.86 percent to 4,269 and the S&P/ASX200 was 0.92 percent lower to 4,205.6, Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.95 to 7,358.08 and the Hang Seng was 1.36 percent lower to 18,501.8 in Hong Hong.
Gainers in the region included the Straits Times Index, which added 0.37 percent to 2,744.17 in Singapore while South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.67 percent to 1,835.4 and the Sensex gained 1.18 percent to 17,082.17 in India.
New York equities markets were up in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.75 percent to 11,564.6 while at the same time the S&P 500 was up 0.89 percent to 1,214.42 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.86 percent higher to 2,642.76.
Crude oil prices were higher at 12:30 p.m. in New York as investors worried less about the possibility of a recession after the Commerce Department said that US consumers spent more as retail sales were up by 1.1 percent in September, with West Texas Intermediate crude up $2.48 to $86.71 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while at last report Brent crude was $3.29 higher to $114.40 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
Metals prices were also up at midday in New York as December gold added $6.30 to $1,674.80 per troy ounce, December silver was up 22 cents to $31.89 per troy ounce, December contracts for copper were 10 cents higher to $3.41 per pound and three-month contracts for copper gained $235 to $7,545 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange after going as high as $7,580.25 per tonne earlier.