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February 3, 2010    

Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey leads London markets

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by Elaine Frei
Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey leads London markets

Equities markets in Europe saw declines Wednesday.

The FTSE 100 was 0.57 percent lower in London, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.66 percent to 9,417.81.

Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) turned in the best performance of the day in London as it added 3.9 percent on the 250, followed by fellow homebuilder Redrow (LSE: RDW), which added 3.43 percent.

Over on the 100, insurers led the way as Standard Life (LSE: SLET) was up 3.49 percent as the best performer on the index, while Prudential (LSE: PRU) gained 2.61 percent although most other insurers saw declines on the session.

Miners were lower as metals prices declined.

Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC) had the worst day in the mining sector, falling 4.32 percent on the 250, while over on the 100 the sector provided four of the five biggest losers of the day, including Antofagasta’s (LSE: ANTO) decline of 3.01 percent, while only iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) managed a gain, adding 0.5 percent.

Drug maker AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) saw the biggest fall on the 100, dropping 3.55 percent as it traded ex-dividend, while Ecofin Water & Power Opportunities (LSE: ECW), an investment trust specializing in utilities, was down 5.99 percent for the worst performance on the 250.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.6 percent to 1,020.99 while the CAC-40 fell 0.49 percent to 3,793.47, the Dax was 0.66 percent lower to 5,672.09 and in Madrid the IBEX dropped 2.27 percent to 10,888.4.

The three biggest decliners on the CAC-40 were all banks, while the Dax’s three biggest gainers came from the car and truck manufacturing sector.

Asia-Pacific markets were higher, helped by word from Chinese oil producer CNOOC (SEHK: 0883) that it plans to up oil production by up to 28 percent this year.

The Nikkei 225 was 0.32 percent higher to 10,404.33 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.31 percent to 915.68 but the Mothers market declined by 1.07 percent to 413.2.

After a day of slight gains, Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) fell 5.7 percent on the news that the carmaker’s US sales were down by 16 percent in January due to reactions to its recall of millions of vehicles.

Nissan Motor (TYO: 7201) added 1.2 percent as its US sales rose by as much as Toyota’s declined last month.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.93 percent to 4,647.9 while the Sydney Ordinaries added 0.96 percent to 4,673.2

South Korea’s Kospi was 1.2 percent higher to 1,615.02, the Taiex added 1.59 percent to 7,547.98 in Taiwan, the Straits Timex Index was up 1.62 percent to 2,764.84 and India’s Sensex gained 2.06 percent to 16,496.05.

The Hang Seng was up 2.22 percent to 20,722.08 in Hong Kong, while the Shanghai Composite gained 2.36 percent to 3,003.83.

Markets were mixed in early afternoon on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.02 percent to 10,299.27 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.13 percent to 2,192.86, but the S&P 500 had dropped 0.3 percent to 1,100.

Crude oil prices were slightly higher in New York in early afternoon trade, but metals prices were lower.

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