BP, Royal Dutch Shell see declines

| March 3, 2009 | 0 Comments
BP, Royal Dutch Shell see declines

Equities markets were lower in Europe Tuesday, with the FTSE Eurofirst 300 seeing it lowest close since the index was created in July 1997.

In London the FTSE 100 was down 3.14 percent to 3,512.09 while the FTSE 250 fell 0.17 percent to 5,850.73.

The oil sector was lower after BP (LSE: BP; NYSE: BP; TYO: 5051) said it has reduced its targets for oil and gas production growth for the time being due to declines in oil prices.

This news, added to a broker downgrade to “market perform” sent BP 4.3 percent lower on the session, while Royal Dutch Shell’s (LSE: RDSA, RDSB; NYSE: RDS.A, RDS.B) A shares were down 5.38 percent and its B shares dropped 6.04 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 ended the session down 1.86 percent to 669.64, the lowest close in its history, while the Dax fell 0.52 percent to 3,690.72, the IBEX was 0.7 percent lower to 7,219.4 and the CAC-40 dropped 1.04 percent to 2,554.55.

Most Asia-Pacific equities markets were also lower on the session.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.69 percent to 7,229.72 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 1.06 percent to 726.8 and the Mothers market dropped 0.87 percent to 389.7.

Elsewhere in the region, the Straits Timex Index was down 0.32 percent to 1,528.51 while in Australia the S&P/ASX200 was 0.95 percent lower to 3,219.2 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 1.01 percent to 3,171.4.

The Shanghai Composite fell 1.05 percent to 2,071.43, the Sensex was down 2.09 percent to 8,427.29 and the Hang Seng dropped 2.3 percent to 12,033.88.

There were a couple of gainers in the region, including the Taiex, which added 0.21 percent to 4,435.34 while the Kospi gained 0.66 percent to 1,025.57.

New York markets were mixed in afternoon trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.14 percent at nearly 1:30 p.m. to 6,772.53 as the Nasdaq Composite added 0.31 percent to 1,326.92 but the S&P 500 was 0.18 percent lower to 699.53.

Crude oil prices and most base metals prices were higher on the session, but precious metals prices were lower and grains were mixed on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The yen was weaker on the session after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates steady.

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