GlaxoSmithKline leads declines among pharma groups

| January 5, 2010 | 0 Comments
GlaxoSmithKline leads declines among pharma groups

Equities markets in Europe were mixed Tuesday, as London indices gained but the main indices in Paris and Frankfurt declined.

The FTSE 100 added 0.4 percent to 5,522.5, its highest close in 16 months, in London, while the FTSE 250 gained 0.49 percent to 9,557.09.

London’s pharmaceuticals sector was lower after France cancelled more than half the doses of H1N1 flu vaccine it had ordered, citing more supply than necessary.

Shire (LSE: SHP) was down 0.81 percent while AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) fell 1.14 percent and GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) dropped 2.4 percent.

Banks were higher, led by Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) with a gain of 10.28 percent that made it the best performer of the session in London, while Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) added 6.26 percent and Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) was 3.39 percent higher.

Iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) led gainers on the 250 and in the mining sector as it added 8.22 percent on the session.

Plastics group Filtrona (LSE: FLTR) was down 11.34 percent on the 250 for the worst performance of the session in London, while IT group Autonomy Corporation (LSE: AU) dropped the most on the 100, falling 3.86 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.06 percent to 1,060.14 while the CAC-40 fell 0.03 percent to 4,012.91 and the Dax was 0.27 percent lower to 6,031.86, but in Madrid the IBEX added 0.49 percent to 12,204.4.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher, but South Korea’s Kospi was 0.33 percent lower on the session to 1,690.62.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.25 percent to 10,681.83 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.42 percent to 919.57 but the Mothers market was down 1.01 percent to 414.68.

The Nikkei and Topix both fell from earlier highs after the yen strengthened, sending the automobile manufacturing sector lower.

Traders were higher on gains in commodities prices, with Mitsubishi Corp. (TYO: 8058) adding 2.5 percent while Mitsui & Co. (TYO: 8031) was up 2.9 percent.

Gains in oil prices also sent Inpex (TYO: 1605) higher, with the oil group gaining 1.8 percent.

Shippers gained after the Baltic Dry Index, which monitors cargo rates for commodities, climbed for the first time since early December.

Nippon Yusen (TYO: 9101) was up 3.5 percent while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (TYO: 9107) added 3.7 percent and Mitsui OSK (TYO: 9104) gained 3.9 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, the Taiex was up 0.04 percent to 8,211.4 while the Sensex added 0.73 percent to 17,686.24 and the Straits Times Index gained 0.89 percent to 2,920.28.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.98 percent to 4,924.3 and the Sydney Ordinaries added 1.02 percent to 4,939.5.

The Shanghai Composite was 1.18 percent higher to 3,282.18 while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng gained 2.09 percent to 22,279.58.

Wall Street was mixed on mixed reports on the economy.

At just before 12:30 p.m. in New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.26 percent to 10,556.6 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 0.01 percent to 2,308.24 but the S&P 500 was up 0.13 percent to 1,134.51.

While the Commerce Department had good news as it reported that US factory orders were up 1.1 percent in November, over twice the expected gain, the National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index, which is based on the number of agreed purchases of existing homes, dropped 16 percent in November.

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