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May 13, 2010    

BT group leads 100 on profits report

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by Elaine Frei
BT group leads 100 on profits report

Equities markets in Europe were mixed on Thursday as good earnings news helped gains in some markets.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.93 percent to 5,433.73 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.97 percent to 10,285.96.

BT Group (LSE: BT.A) led gains on the 100 and a mostly higher telecommunications sector as it added 10.87 percent after it reported that operating profits added 16 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter.

The best performance on the 250, meanwhile, came from business and financial magazines publisher Euromoney Institutional Investor (LSE: ERM), which added 6.97 percent and produced the best results of the session in a mixed media sector, while newspaper and magazine publisher Trinity Mirror (LSE: TNI) dropped most in the sector with a decline of 12.46 percent.

Ground engineers Keller Group (LSE: KLR) was the worst performer on the 250 and in London, as it dropped 19.23 percent, while inter-dealer money broker Tullett Prebon (LSE: TLPR) followed closely with a decline of 13.26 percent.

Retailer DSG International (LSE: DSGI) added 5.97 percent for the best performance in its sector after it reported that its underlying group sales were up 8 percent in its fiscal first half, while supermarket chain Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY) added 3.2 percent on a full year pretax profit of 18 percent.

Most miners were higher, led by Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) with a gain of 4.09 percent, but there were two decliners in the sector as Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) fell 0.58 percent and Talvivaara Mining Company (LSE: TALV) was down 0.08 percent.

Banks were mixed in London, with Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) seeing the biggest gain as it added 1.75 percent, but Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) fell 0.68 percent on the session.

Other banks in Europe were lower as Credit Agricole (LSE: ACA) saw the biggest decline of the day on the CAC-40 as it fell 3.56 percent while Societe Generale (LSE: GLE) was down 1.56 percent.

Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo (BIT: ISP) dropped 3.6 percent while Bankinter (BMAD: BKT) was down 3.5 percent in Spain and Eurobank EFG (Athex: EUROB) was 6.2 percent lower in Greece.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.07 percent to 1,049.3 while the Dax added 1.11 percent to 6,251.97 but the CAC-40 was down 0.06 percent to 3,731.54 and the IBEX dropped 1.11 percent to 9,977.5.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region saw gains, although the Straits Times Index was down 0.43 percent to 2,867.92.

The Nikkei 225 was 2.18 percent higher to 10,620.55 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 1.62 percent to 947.9 and the Mothers market was up 1.78 percent to 460.44.

Shares related to computers were up after Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035) said it expects to return to profit in the current fiscal year and after United Microelectronics Corp (TSEC: 2003; NYSE: UMC) bought $16 million worth of equipment from Tokyo Electron in Taiwan.

Tokyo Electron was up 7 percent, while Advantest (TYO: 6857) added 3.2 percent and Elpida Memory (TYO: 6665) gained 2.5 percent on its report of an annual profit, its first since 2007, on sales.

In the electronics sector, Sony (TYO: 6758) added 4.1 percent while recording and data storage media manufacturer TDK (TYO: 6762) was up 4.6 percent.

India’s Sensex added 0.41 percent to 17,265.87, while the Hang Seng was up 1.04 percent to 20,422.46.

Air China’s (SEHK: 753) Hong Kong-listed shares gained 6.7 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the air carrier from “equal weight” to “overweight”.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries added 1.73 percent to 4,679.5 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 1.75 percent to 4,652.8 on the news that the economy there added 33,700 jobs in April, better than the expected addition of 20,000 jobs.

South Korea’s Kospi was 1.9 percent higher to 1,694.58, while the Shanghai Composite added 2.06 percent to 2,710.51 and the Taiex gained 2.21 percent to 7,770.57 in Taiwan.

Markets were lower at midday in New York after the Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims were down by just 4,000 last week, to 444,000, as analysts said that first-time filings should be below 400,000 by now based on recent movement.

At just past 1 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.23 percent lower to 10,871.44 while the S&P 500 had dropped 0.38 percent to 1,167.16 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.53 percent to 2,412.2.

Crude oil prices were slightly lower in midday trade, while metals were mixed as copper saw gains but gold and silver prices had declined.

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