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Monday 26th of April 2010
April 22, 2010    

Imagination Technologies leads tech sector in London

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by Elaine Frei
Imagination Technologies leads tech sector in London

Equities markets were lower in Europe on Thursday as the European Union’s statistics office reported that the Eurozone’s budget deficit grew to 6.3 percent of the zone’s gross domestic product in 2009, as Ireland showed the biggest deficit at 14.3 percent of its GDP, followed by Greece at 13.6 percent of its GDP.

The FTSE 100 was 1.02 percent lower to 5,665.33 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.32 percent to 10,435.61.

The tech sector was once again in focus as mobile graphics and chip technology group Imagination Technologies (LSE: IMG) led the sector with a gain of 4.51 percent on the 250, while chipmaker ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) topped the winner’s list on the 100 for the second day in a row as it added 3.35 percent on rumors of a possible bid.

Still in the tech sector, Autonomy Corporation (LSE: AU) added 2.92 percent after Nomura lifted the software group’s target share price, but the sector was not uniformly higher and CSR (LSE: CSR), which makes chips for Bluetooth and GPS technology, dropped 3.65 percent for the biggest decline in the sector.

Homebuilders were higher as Redrow (LSE: RDW) led gains in the sector as it added 5.28 percent, while Persimmon (LSE: PSN) was 2.3 percent higher after it reported a 20 percent rise in sales and low cancellation rates.

Liberty International (LSE: LII) turned in the worst performance in the real estate sector after Morgan Stanley reduced its recommendation on the property investor from “equal-weight” to “underweight”.

The energy sector was lower on falling oil prices, with declines led by oil explorer and producer JKX Oil & Gas (LSE: JKX), which fell 4.49 percent on the 250.

Bodycote (LSE: BOY), which specializes in heat treatments and coatings for aerospace, automotive and power generation companies, led gains in London as it added 6.8 percent.

The biggest loser in London was directories publisher Yell Group (LSE: YELL), which was 4.5 percent lower on the 250, while drug maker Shire (LSE: SHP) fell the most in the pharmaceuticals sector and led losers on the 100 as it dropped 3.49 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1 percent to 1,085.11 while the Dax fell 0.99 percent to 6,168.72, the CAC-40 was 1.33 percent lower to 3,924.65 and the IBEX dropped 2.19 percent to 10,821.9.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower, at least partially on concerns that US President Barack Obama will call for stricter regulation of the financial sector.

The Nikkei 225 was 1.27 percent lower to 10,949.09 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 0.9 percent to 978.17 but the Mothers market added 1.34 percent to 490.88.

Many exporters declined as the yen strengthened versus the US dollar.

Games maker Nintendo (TYO: 7974) dropped 1.8 percent wile electronics giant Sony (TYO: 6758) was down 2..1 percent and industrial robot manufacturer Fanuc Ltd. (TYO: 6954) was 2.7 percent lower on the session.

There were some gains as conglomerate Hitachi Corp (TYO: 6501) added 2.3 percent on higher sales of hard drives, while camera and copier maker Ricoh Corp (TYO; 7752) gained 3.4 percent after it raised its profit forecast.

Other decliners in the region included the Taiex, which was down 0.15 percent to 7,978.69 in Taiwan, while the Hang Seng fell 0.26 percent to 21,454.94 in Hong Kong and the Kospi was 0.46 percent lower to 1,739.52 in South Korea.

The Sydney Ordinaires dropped 0.88 percent to 4,936.8 in Australia, while the S&P/ASX200 fell 0.95 percent to 4,907.4.

In China, the Shanghai Composite was 1.11 percent lower to 2,999.48 as the real estate and construction sectors declined on concerns that the government will take more steps to reduce property speculation there.

Wall Street was lower in midday trade, with declines coming on more concerns about Greek’s debt crisis and on declines in telecommunications shares on disappointing results.

At just before 1 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.72 percent lower to 11,044.36 while the S&P 500 had dropped 0.79 percent to 1,196.45 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.57 percent to 2,490.23.

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

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