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Sunday 23rd of August 2009
August 21, 2009

British Airways leads European airlines higher


by Elaine Frei
British Airways leads Eurpoean airlines higher

European equities markets were higher Friday, with the FTSE Eurofirst 300 adding 2.19 percent to close at 965.61, its highest closing level since last November and almost 50 percent higher than it was when it hit a record low in March.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 1.98 percent to 4,850.89 while the FTSE 250 added 1.73 percent to 8,678.83.

British Airways (LSE: BAY; NYSE: BAB) led gainers on the 100 as it gained 7.24 percent while over on the 250, online property search Rightmove (LSE: RMV) turned in the best performance, adding 18.7 percent.

There were no decliners on the Dax, which added 2.86 percent to 5,462.74 or the CAC-40, which was up 3.15 percent to 3,615.81.

Spain’s IBEX was up 2.46 percent to 11,161 to end the week.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed, with Tokyo’s markets down as exporters were hurt by a stronger yen.

The Nikkei 225 was down 1.4 percent to 10,238.2 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 1.17 percent to 947.34 and the Mothers market dropped 0.35 percent to 449.17.

Also seeing declines was the Straits Times Index, which was 0.57 percent lower to 2,544.86 while at the same time the Hang Seng fell 0.64 percent to 20,199.02 and the Taiex was down 1.16 percent to 6,654.8.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 1.95 percent to 4,305.7 while the S&P/ASX200 was down 1.99 percent to 4,290.6.

Among markets seeing gains, the Kospi was up 0.29 percent to 1,580.98 while the Sensex added 1.52 percent to 15,240.83 and the Shanghai Composite gained 1.69 percent to 2,960.77.

At just after 1 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.45 percent to 9,485.93 while the Nasdaq Composite had added 1.25 percent to 2,014.17 and the S&P 500 was 1.58 percent higher to 1,023.32.

Prices for crude oil and metals were higher on the session on optimism that the economy will recover soon.

Grains prices were mixed in afternoon trade in Chicago.

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