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Sunday 10th of January 2010
January 8, 2010    

Mitchells & Butlers, other pubs gain

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by Elaine Frei
Mitchells & Butlers, other pubs gain

Most European equities markets ended the week with positive session, ignoring a December decline in jobs in the United States, although Madrid’s IBEX was down slightly as it dropped 0.03 percent to 12,163.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.14 percent to 5,534.24 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.61 percent to 9,689.05.

Pubs operator Mitchells & Butlers (LSE: MAB) led the 250 and had the best day in London as it added 8.45 percent after it reported that sales in locations open at least a year were up 3.4 percent in the six weeks ending on 2 January.

Still in the travel and leisure sector, Punch Taverns (LSE: PUB) was also up substantially with a gain of 7.11 percent and while not up as much, Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI) was 2.67 percent on the session.

Meanwhile, over on the 100, miner Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC) added 5.19 percent to lead the index and its sector after an upgrade from “hold” to “buy” from UBS as part of a sector review.

The worst performance of the session came from department stores operator Debenhams (LSE: DEB), which dropped 2.46 percent on the 250, while the biggest decliner on the 100 was Man Group (LSE: EMG), which dropped 2.32 percent after Morgan Stanley downgraded the broker from “overweight” to “equal-weight”.

Banks were mixed, with the worst performance in the sector coming from Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS), which was down 2.09 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.48 percent higher to 1,065.26 while the Dax gained 0.3 percent to 6,037.61 and the CAC-40 gained 4,045.14.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher, but India’s Sensex fell 0.43 percent to 17,540.29.

The Nikkei 225 was up 1.09 percent to 10,798.32 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 1.01 percent to 941.29 and the Mothers market gained 0.83 percent to 405.96.

Japan Airlines (TYO: 9205) was lower again, falling 12.82 percent on continuing concerns that the airline will file for bankruptcy, as the government and some of its creditors have suggested.

The Shanghai Composite added 0.1 percent to 3,196 but ended the week lower, while the Hang Seng was up 0.12 percent to 22,296.75.

The Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.24 percent to 4942.2 in Australia, while the S&P/ASX200 was 0.26 percent to 4,912.1.

The Straits Times Index added 0.33 percent to 2,922.76, while the Taiex was up 0.53 percent to 8,280.9 and the Kospi gained 0.7 percent to 1,695.26.

Wall Street was mixed in early afternoon trade.

Just before 1 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.26 percent lower to 10,597.42 and the S&P 500 had dropped 0.09 percent to 1,140.65, but the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.35 percent to 2,308.04.

Oil prices and precious metals were higher, but copper was lower at early afternoon in New York.

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