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February 4, 2009    

Kazakhmys, other miners lead FTSE 100

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by Elaine Frei
Kazakhmys, other miners lead FTSE 100

European equities markets saw gains Wednesday on better news than expected form the UK and US services sectors as reports showed that contraction of the sectors in both economies is slowing.

In London the FTSE 100 added 1.54 percent to 4,228.6 while the FTSE 250 gained 3.12 percent to 6,321.81.

Miners took four of the top five spots on the gainers list on the 100, with Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) up 12.7 percent as Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (LSE: ENRC) added 14.38 percent, Xstrata (LSE: XTA) was 14.75 percent higher and Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) gained 14.86 percent for the best performance of the day on the 100.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 2.37 percent to 810.66 as the IBEX added 1.6 percent to 8,495.4, the Dax was 2.69 percent higher to 4,492.79 and the CAC-40 gained 2.9 percent to 3,068.99.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on the session.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was up 2.73 percent to 8,038.94 while the Topix index added 2.45 percent to 792.78 and the Mothers market gained 1 percent to 338.93.

The Taiex was up 0.39 percent to 4,389.97, the Sensex added 0.57 percent to 9,201.85, the Hang Seng was 2.25 percent higher to 13,063.89, the Shanghai Composite was up 2.28 percent to 2,107.75 and the Kospi gained 2.77 percent to 1,195.37.

Not all markets in the region saw gains, however, with the Straits Time Index dropping 0.26 percent to 1,707.39 while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries fell 1.94 percent to 3,382.3 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 2.02 percent to 3,437.9.

In early afternoon trade on Wall Street the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4 percent to 8,046.42 while the Nasdaq Composite had added 1.04 percent to 1,532.14 and the S&P 500 was up 0.29 percent to 840.93.

Crude oil prices were slightly lower in New York and slightly higher in London, while precious metals prices saw gains in New York and grains prices were mixed in Chicago.

The euro weakened on worries that currency devaluations by several Eastern European nations could hurt the shared currency.

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