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Wednesday 09th of February 2011
March 1, 2010    

Insurer Prudential drops 12 percent on acquisitions news

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by Elaine Frei
Insurer Prudential drops 12 percent on acquisitions news

European markets were higher Monday as commodities prices jumped, but some insurers were lower on the session.

The FTSE 100 added 0.96 percent to 5,405.94 in London, while the FTSE 250 gained 1.45 percent to 9,479.83.

In a mixed insurance sector, Prudential (LSE: PRU) dropped 12.03 percent to lead declines on the 100 and in London after it said it will buy the Asian operations of US insurer American International Group (NYSE: AIG).

Other decliners in the sector included Legal & General Group (LSE: LGEN) with a decline of 5.12 percent and Aviva (LSE: AV), which dropped 3.87 percent.

The biggest gainer in London was casino and online gaming operator Rank Group (LSE: RNK), which added 9.17 percent to lead the 250, while generator rentals group Aggreko (LSE: AGK) added 6.05 percent to lead gains on the 100.

Banks were lower, led by HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA) after its results came in below expectations.

Miners were higher after a jump in the price of copper due to disruptions in supplies after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile over the weekend, despite the fact that not all mines were affected and even though most of those which were affected had reestablished at least some operations by Monday.

Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) led gains in the sector as it added 5.15 percent on the 100, while the only decliner in the sector was Talvivaara Mining Company (LSE: TALV), which dropped 0.81 percent.

Most London retailers were higher, but consumer electronics retailer DSG International (LSE: DSGI) led declines on the 250 as it dropped 3.49 percent on the session, while video games retailer Game Group (LSE: GMG) and department store operator Debenhams (LSE: DEB) also ranked among the top five decliners on the 250 as they fell 2.8 percent and 2.31 percent respectively.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on the session.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.45 percent to 10,172.06 in Tokyo while the Topix index was up 0.54 percent to 898.93 and the Mothers market gained 1.66 percent to 415.97.

Toyota (TYO: 7203) was 1.1 percent lower on reports that a US government panel found that the carmaker withheld documents during legal proceedings, often settling cases out of court in order to avoid having to reveal documents.

In the Tokyo banking sector Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) added 1.1 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ (TYO: 8306) was up 1.6 percent and Mizuho Financial Group (TYO: 8411) gained 2.9 percent after JPMorgan upgraded them to “overweight”.

The Straits Times Index added 0.84 percent to 2,774.06 while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.94 percent to 4,694.9 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 1.05 percent to 4,686.5.

Additionally, the Shanghai Composite was 1.18 percent higher to 3,087.84, the Taiex added 1.9 percent to 7,577.75 and the Hang Seng gained 2.17 percent to 21,056.93.

India’s Sensex was closed for a bank holiday, while Korea’s markets were closed to observe Independence Day there.

New York markets were up in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.68 percent to 10.395.7 while the S&P 500 was up 0.89 percent to 1,114.31 and the Nasdaq Composite had gained 1.35 percent to 2,268.37.

The price of oil was up slightly in New York at midday, while at the same time metals prices were also higher.

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