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Thursday 03rd of September 2009
January 23, 2009    

Insurer Old Mutual drops 13.61 percent

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by Elaine Frei
Insurer Old Mutual drops13.61 percent

Most European equities markets were lower Friday as banks again declined and insurers had a rough day as well.

The FTSE 100 managed a gain of just 0.01 percent to 4,052.47 in London, but the FTSE 250 was 1.28 percent lower to 6,088.13.

Insurer Old Mutual (LSE: OML; JSE: OLOML) turned in the worst performance on the 100 as it dropped 13.61 percent, while Aviva (LSE: AV) was 6.71 percent lower.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 1.46 percent lower while the CAC-40 was down 0.71 percent to 2,849.14 and the Dax dropped 0.96 percent to 4,178.94 but Spain’s IBEX added 0.17 percent to 8,172.8.

Asia-Pacific equities markets saw declines on the session, as well.

The Nikkei 225 was down 3.81 percent to 7,745.25, its lowest close in two months, while the Topix index fell 2.81 percent to 773.55 but the Mothers market of small and mid-caps added 0.6 percent to 329.66.

The Hang Seng was down 0.63 percent to 12,578.6, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.71 percent to 1,990.66, the Straits Times Index was 1.38 percent lower to 1,685.23, the Sensex dropped 1.58 percent to 8,674.35 and the Kospi was down 2.05 percent to 1,093.4.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 3.83 percent to 3,300.3 while the S&P/ASX200 dropped 4.13 percent to 3,342.7.

In Taiwan, the Taiex remained closed to trade for a second day and will remain closed through February 1 in observation of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Earnings disappointments were hard on Wall Street in afternoon trade, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.32 percent to 8,015.28 while the S&P 500 dropped 0.24 percent to 825.54.

On the other hand technology shares were helped, sending the Nasdaq Composite up 0.38 percent to 1,471.02, on better news from Google (NAS: GOOG).

Crude oil and metals prices were higher as investors looked for safe places to put their money after equities markets declined.

The yen was higher again in relation to the pound and the US dollar.

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