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Sunday 31st of January 2010
January 28, 2010    

Most miners down, but Ferrexpo manages gain

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by Elaine Frei
Most miners down, but Ferrexpo manages gain

Equities markets in Europe were lower Thursday.

The FTSE 100 fell 1.37 percent to 5,145.74 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.34 percent to 9,213.78.

Miners were the biggest decliners, with only two gains in the sector, led by iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO), which added 2.52 percent, while Xstrata (LSE: XTA) turned in the worst performance in the sector as it dropped 4.33 percent.

Drug maker AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) had the biggest decline on the session in London, falling 4.6 percent in a mostly lower sector.

Investment trust Ecofin Water & Power Opportunities (LSE: ECW), which specializes in investments in utilities, dropped most on the 250 as it fell 4.59 percent.

Components of the travel and leisure sector led both the 100 and 250.

Pubs and hotels operator and brewer Greene King (LSE: GNK) led the sector, the 250 and all gainers in London as it added 3.25 percent, while fellow pubs operator Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI) was up 2.98 percent.

Public transport operators were also up as National Express Group (LSE: NEX) gained 3.16 percent and Arriva (LSE: ARI) added 2.89 percent.

Over on the 100, cruise operator Carnival (LSE: CCL) added 1.61 percent to lead that index’s gainers on the session.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.86 percent to 1,005.08 while the Dax fell 1.82 percent to 5,540.33, the CAC-40 was 1.89 percent lower to 3,688.79 and the IBEX dropped 1.93 percent to 10,829.3.

There were only 2 gainers on the Dax, with gains on both the Dax and the CAC-40 led by chipmakers.

Asia-Pacific region markets were higher on the session.

The Nikkei 225 added 1.58 percent to 10,414.29 while the Topix index was up 0.73 percent to 914.32, but the Mothers market was down 0.36 percent to 415.26.

Electronics giant Sony (TYO: 6758) was up 4.9 percent on a media report that its operating profit was up in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) added 3.3 percent, also on news reports that its operating profits are up, doubling in the fourth quarter of last year from third quarter results, but Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) dropped 3.9 percent on ongoing concerns over its recall of several models.

Hitachi Construction (TYO: 6305) fell 7.6 percent after it forecast that its full-year operating profit will drop over 50 percent from the previous year.

Elsewhere in the region, the Sensex was up 0.1 percent to 16.306.87 and the Shanghai Composite was 0.25 percent higher to 2,994.14, while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.59 percent to 4,697.7 and the S&P/ASX200 gained 0.62 percent to 4,673.3.

The Kospi was 1.04 percent higher to 1,642.43, the Hang Seng added 1.61 percent to 20,356.37, the Taiex was up 1.78 percent to 7,694.58 and the Straits Times Index gained 1.9 percent to 2,757.68.

New York markets were down sharply at midday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.41 percent to 10,091.66, the S&P 500 was 1.53 percent lower to 1,080.75 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 2.35 percent to 2,169.3.

The declines came as the US Labor Department reported that new jobless claims fell less than anctipated last week, dropping by 8,000 to 470,000, against analyst expectations of a decline to around 450,000 new filings.

Additionally, the Commerce Department issued new data showing that durable goods orders were not up as much as hoped in December, rising just 0.3 percent against an expected gain of 2 percent.

The Commerce Department also said that durable goods orders dropped 20.2 percent in 2009, the biggest yearly decline on record.

Crude oil prices were slightly lower in New York at midday, while metals prices were mixed with gold seeing a small gain.

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