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September 23, 2009    

LII leads 100, real estate sector lower

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by Elaine Frei
LII leads 100, real estate sector lower

European equities markets were mixed Wednesday as the oil sector was down but banks were mostly up, although London banks ended the session mixed.

The FTSE 100 was 0.06 percent lower to 5,139.37 in London, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.34 percent to 9,217.01.

Property investor Liberty International (LSE: LII) led declines on the 100 and in the real estate sector as it dropped 10.11 percent, while elsewhere in the sector British Land Co (LSE: BLND) was down 4.48 percent and Hammerson (LSE: HMSO) was 3.58 percent lower.

Liberty International’s declines came after it announced that it will offer its second batch of shares in five months in an attempt to raise £300 million.

Over on the 250, directories publisher Yell Group (LSE: YELL) dropped 13.45 percent for the worst performance on the index, while pubs operators also saw declines as Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI) was down 7.8 percent as the worst performer in the travel and leisure sector, followed by fellow pubs operator Mitchells & Butlers (LSE: MAB) with a decline of 4.82 percent.

Elsewhere in Europe, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 0.07 percent to 1,005.14 and the IBEX was up 0.31 percent to 11,853.3, but the CAC-40 fell 0.05 percent to 3,821.79 and the Dax dropped 0.13 percent to 5,702.05.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed as well as miners and the oil sector helped Australian markets to gains but declines in the semiconductors sector hurt South Korean markets.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries added 1.5 percent to 4,741 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 1.51 percent to 4,734.1, while the Straits Timex Index gained a bare 0.01 percent to 2,685.94.

Among decliners in the region, the Kospi fell 0.43 percent to 1,711.47 while the Hang Seng was down 0.49 percent to 21,595.52, the Sensex was 0.99 percent lower to 16,719.5, the Taiex fell 1.24 percent to 7,376.76 and the Shanghai Composite dropped 1.89 percent to 2,842.72.

The Shanghai Composite was at a three-week low on lower prices for steel and declining cargo rates, while the oil sector and brewers were also down on the session.

After hovering just above and below yesterday’s levels as investors hesitated to make any significant deals ahead of a decision on interest rates from the Federal Reserve, due later today, New York markets were slightly higher in midday trade.

At just past noon in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.12 percent to 9,842.11 while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.26 percent higher to 2,151.91 and the S&P 500 had added 0.09 percent to 1,072.65.

The Fed is widely expected to hold rates steady.

Crude oil prices were down by nearly $3 per barrel in midday trade in New York while metals prices were also lower, but grains prices were mixed in late morning trade in Chicago.

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