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January 20, 2010    

Hochschild Mining leads miners lower in London

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by Elaine Frei
Hochschild Mining leads miners lower in London

European equities markets were lower Wednesday as concerns grew that China’s pullback from stimulus efforts will slow its economy, hurting global recovery from the recession.

The FTSE 100 was 1.67 percent lower to 5,420.8 in London, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.87 percent to 9,472.29, with miners the biggest decliners on both indices.

The seven biggest declines in London on the session came in the mining sector, with Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC) falling most as it dropped 6.69 percent on the 250, followed by Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) with a decline of 6.52 percent and by iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO), which fell 6.24 percent.

Over on the 100, Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC) led declines as it dropped 6.28 percent, followed by Xstrata (LSE: XTA), which fell 6.2 percent while Lonmin (LSE: LMI) was down 6.19 percent, Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) was 5.97 percent lower and Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) dropped 5.48 percent.

Gains on the 100 were led by Shire Pharmaceuticals (LSE: SHP) which added 2.6 percent although most in the sector were lower on the session, while financial services constituent IG Group Holdings (LSE: IGG), which specializes in spread betting, gained 5.77 percent to lead the 250 and all winners in London.

Over in the travel and leisure sector, some betting services saw gains as Ladbrokes (LSE: LAD) added 3.43 percent and William Hill (LSE: WMH) gained 3.39 percent.

Most utilities were lower, but two of the top five gainers on the 100 came from the sector, as Scottish & Southern Energy (LSE: SSE) was up 1.18 percent and United Utilities Group (LSE: UU) was 0.99 percent higher on the session.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.59 percent to 1,052.05 while the CAC-40 fell 2.01 percent to 3,928.95, the Dax was 2.09 percent lower to 5,851.53 and the IBEX dropped 2.61 percent to 11,709.

There were just five gainers on the CAC-40 and only two stocks advanced on the Dax.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower after China told two banks they had to increase reserves.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was 0.25 percent lower to 10,737.52 while the Topix index fell 0.53 percent to 944.72 and the Mothers market dropped 0.27 percent to 421.77.

Shippers were lower, while Japan Tobacco (TYO: 2914) was down 4.1 percent after the Norway government’s “oil fund”, worth $450 billion, dropped it and sixteen other tobacco groups, citing ethical reasons.

Brokers declined after Credit Suisse downgrades, including a cut from “overweight” to “market weight” for the sector as a whole.

Nomura Holdings (TYO: 8604) was cut from “outperform” to “neutral” and fell 3.8 percent, while Matsui Securities (TYO: 8628), also subject to downgrade, was 3.7 percent lower and Daiwa Securities Group (TYO: 8601) dropped 2.4 percent.

The Sensex was down 0.07 percent to 17,474.49 while at the same time Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.34 percent, the Straits Times Index dropped 0.68 percent to 2,893.13, the Hang Seng was 1.81 percent lower to 21,286.17 and the Shanghai Composite was down 2.93 percent to 3,151.85.

In Australia, however, the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.11 percent to 4,895.1 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.14 percent to 4,868.2, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.24 percent to 1,714.38.

Wall Street joined the trend to declines as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 1.69 percent to 10,544.28 in midday trade, while the S&P 500 was down 1.6 percent to 1,131.85 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.83 percent lower to 2,,278.02.

Prices for oil and metals were lower at midday in New York.

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