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Sunday 31st of January 2010
January 29, 2010    

Gem Diamonds leads gains in London

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by Elaine Frei
Gem Diamonds leads gains in London

Equities markets in Europe were higher Friday, ending the week on a positive note.

The FTSE 100 added 0.83 percent to 5,188.52 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.26 percent to 9,237.3.

Gem Diamonds (LSE: GEMD) led the 250, a mixed mining sector, and all gainers in London as it added 5.86 percent, while over on the 100, Xstrata (LSE: XTA) was up 2.69 percent.

The biggest gainer on the 100 was hotels and restaurants operator Whitbread (LSE: WTB), with a gain of 3.3 percent.

Banks were mostly higher, led by HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA) with a gain of 2.62, while the only decliner in the London banking sector was Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS), which dropped 0.83 percent on the session.

The biggest decline in London came on the 250, where property services group Connaught (LSE: CNT) dropped 11.03 percent on the news that its chief executive has resigned, while the worst performance on the 100 came from inter-dealer money broker ICAP (LSE: IAP), which fell 2.75 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.96 percent to 1,011,38 while the IBEX added 1.09 percent to 10,947.7, the Dax was 1.24 percent higher to 5,608.79 and the CAC-40 gained 1.37 percent to 3,739.46.

Most markets were lower in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Nikkei 225 fell 2.08 percent to 10,198.04 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was down 1.44 percent to 901.12 and the Mothers market dropped 0.63 percent to 412.66.

Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) was down again, falling 2 percent and bringing the carmaker’s losses for the week to almost 14 percent, after it had to extend its recall to more models and from the US to Europe and China as well.

Twenty-nine million shares of Toyota’s stock were traded on the session after 38 million shares changed hands on Thursday.

Nippon Steel (TYO; 5401) fell 1.5 percent after it predicted a net loss for the full year, while in the electronics sector chip-testing equipment maker Advantest (TYO: 6857) dropped 10.2 percent after it said it expects a full-year net loss of ¥13.5 billion ($150.1 million), much more than analyst estimates.

The Shanghai Composite was 0.16 percent lower to 2,989.29, while the Straits Times Index fell 0.45 percent to 2,745.35, the Taiex dropped 0.7 percent to 7,640.44 and the Hang Seng was down 1.15 percent to 20,121.99.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 2.15 percent to 4,596.9 and the S&P/ASX200 was 2.22 percent lower to 4,596.9, while South Korea’s Kospi dropped 2.44 percent to 1,602.43.

India’s Sensex, running against the trend, added 0.31 percent on the session to 16,357.96.

Wall Street was mixed in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 gaining on a Commerce Department report which showed that the US gross domestic product was up 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, better than the forecast rise of 4.5 percent.

At shortly before 1 p.m. in New York, the Dow was 0.35 percent higher to 10,156.2 and the S&P 500 had added 0.1 percent to 1,085.64.

The Nasdaq was hurt by earnings reports in the tech sector that weren’t up to expectations.

Crude oil and metals prices were lower in midday trade in New York.

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