BP gains on spill settlement

| October 17, 2011
BP gains on spill settlement

European equities markets were lower Monday after a spokesman for the German government said a quick solution to the Eurozone debt crisis will not emerge from a meeting of European leaders scheduled for 23 October, after a plan for a solution was discussed over the weekend by G20 finance ministers and central bank leaders.

No details of the weekend discussions were released.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.54 percent to 5,436.7 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.85 percent to 10,250.4.

Oil explorer BP (LSE: BP) added 2.2 percent and lead gains on the 100 and in the energy sector after it said Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC), which owned a 25 percent stake in the Gulf of Mexico oil rig that exploded and spilled oil into the Gulf last year, will pay to settle all claims over the spill and will drop claims of gross negligence against BP.

BP was one of three energy sector constituents to place in the top five gainers on the 100, with engineer and consultancy to the energy industry AMEC (LSE: AMEC) up 1.74 percent while Essar Energy (LSE: ESSR) added 1.42 percent, but the worst performer in the oil sector was Heritage Oil (LSE: HOIL), with a decline of 4.11 percent.

Premier Foods (LSE: PFD) was the best performer on the 250, adding 6.33 percent in a mostly lower food and beverage sector.

Security specialist G4S (LSE: GFS) was the worst performer on the 100, dropping 22.1 percent after it said it will buy Danish facilities services company ISS, also announcing that it will pay for part of the deal with a £2 billion rights issue, while travel agent Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG) had the worst day on the 250 with a decline of 5.44 percent.

Most miners were lower, with the worst performance in the sector coming from Talvivaara Mining Company (LSE: TALV), which was down 4.76 percent, followed by a 4.74 percent decline for Allied Gold Mining (LSE: ALD), while Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY) led five gainers in the sector as it added 3.67 percent.

Banks were mixed, with Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) best as it added 0.74 percent, while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) dropped 2.5 percent for the worst performance in the sector.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.04 percent to 965.38 while the IBEX fell 1.24 percent to 8,864.3, the CAC-40 was 1.61 percent lower to 3,166.06 and the DAX dropped 1.81 percent to 5,859.43.

Markets in Asia and the Pacific region were mostly higher on fewer concerns about the Eurozone economy after a meeting of the G20 finance ministers in Paris over the weekend agreed to at least part of a plan to get a handle on the region’s debt crisis and ahead of a meeting of European leaders scheduled for 23 October to further consider the issue, before a German warning not to expect a quick end to the crisis.

The Nikkei 225 was up 1.5 percent to 8,879.6 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 1.75 percent to 761.88 and the Mothers market gained 1.07 percent to 412.15.

Carmakers saw gains as Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) added 2.9 percent and Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) was up 3.6 percent, while game maker Nintendo (TYO: 7974) gained 3.2 percent and consumer electronics manufacturer Sony (TYO: 6758) was 5 percent higher.

Camera and optics maker Olympus Corp (TYO: 7733), however, dropped 24 percent after a report commissioned by dismissed president Michael Woodford and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers said there could be legal and regulatory inquiries into payments made to advisers in 2008, and after Mr. Woodford said his dismissal came because he had questioned those payments.

Elsewhere in the region, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.37 percent to 2,440.4, the Straits Times Index added 1.27 percent to 2,778.97 in Singapore, Taiwan’s Taiex was 1.4 percent higher to 7,461.12, Australia’s markets were up as the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.61 percent to 4,337.9 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 1.66 percent to 4,275.4, the Kospi was 1.62 percent higher to 1,865.18 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2.01 percent to 18,874.

India’s Sensex dropped 0.34 percent to 17,075.1.

New York equities markets were lower in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.41 percent to 11,479.8 at just past 12:30 p.m. local time, while the S&P 500 had dropped 1.31 percent to 1,208.51 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.6 percent lower to 2,625.15.

Crude oil prices were lower on Germany’s warning to not expect a quick end of the European debt crisis, with November contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude down 49 cents to $86.31 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude was recently reported down $1.43 to $110.80 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Metals prices were also lower in New York, with December gold down $14.10 to $1,668.90 per troy ounce at around 12:20 p.m. local time, while Silver was 51 cents lower to $31.66 per troy ounce and copper had dropped 3 cents to $3.38 per pound.

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