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Wednesday 21st of July 2010
May 17, 2010    

Man Group drops nearly 9 percent in London trade

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by Elaine Frei
Man Group drops nearly 9 percent in London trade

Most equities markets in Europe were lower Monday on continuing concerns that debt problems will hurt recovery and as miners declined on drops in prices for copper and other base metals.

The FTSE 100 was 0.01 percent lower to 5,262.54 in London, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.91 percent to 9,932.03.

The biggest decline in London came from investment managers Man Group (LSE: EMG), which dropped 8.85 percent on the 100, while easyJet (LSE: EZJ) fell 5.94 percent for the worst performances on the 250 and in the travel and leisure sector.

Travel and leisure companies had a tough time of it on the session as ash in the air from an Icelandic volcano once again made it necessary to close some airports and cancel some flights in the region.

Besides the decline for easyJet, British Airways (LSE: BAY) was down 1.18 percent, while travel agents Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG) and TUI Travel (LSE: TT) were down 3.24 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.

Pubs operators were also down as Punch Taverns (LSE: PUB) fell 4.67 percent and Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI) dropped 3.91 percent.

The retail sector was mostly lower, but automobile retailer Inchcape (LSE: INCH) added 2.15 percent, while most miners were also lower, led by iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) with a decline of 5.53 percent.

Self-storage provider Big Yellow Group (LSE: BYG) was the best performer in London as it added 4.55 percent, while Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) led gains on the 100 as it advanced 4.25 percent although banks were mixed, with Barclays Bank the worst performer in the sector with a decline of 1.36 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.15 percent to 1,012.68 while the IBEX fell 0.31 percent to 9,286.1 and the CAC-40 dropped 0.47 percent to 3,543.55, but the Dax managed to add 6,066.92 in Frankfurt.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower, significantly lower in many cases, as investors continued to worry about how the European debt situation will affect recovery.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was down 2.17 percent to 10,235.76 while the Topix index fell 1.71 percent to 920.43 and the Mothers market plummeted 7.05 percent to 424.06 after Morgan Stanley downgraded Japanese shares to “underweight”.

Exporters were lower as the yen strengthened versus the euro.

Toshiba (TYO: 6502), which makes everything from semiconductors to nuclear reactors, and which gets over half its revenue from outside Japan, was down 2.6 percent, while data-storage media manufacturer TDK (TYO: 6762), which gets more than 80 percent of its sales outside Japan, was down 3.9 percent, and consumer electronics giant Sony (TYO: 6758) dropped 4.5 percent.

Heavy equipment manufacturers were lower even though machinery orders in Japan were in 5.4 percent in March from February, as growth did not meet analysts expectations.

Tractor and heavy equipment manufacturer Kubota (TYO: 6326) and robot maker Fanuc (TYO: 6954) each fell 2.6 percent, while Mitsubishi Heavy (TYO: 7011) was down 3.5 percent and Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd (TYO: 6302) dropped 5.3 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, the Straits Times Index was down 0.75 percent to 2,833.69 while the Sensex fell 0.94 percent to 16,835.56, the Hang Seng was 2.14 percent lower to 19,715.2, Taiwan’s Taiex dropped 2.23 percent to 7,598.72 and the Kospi was down 2.6 percent to 1,651.51 in South Korea.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 2.06 percent to 4,500.7 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 3.12 percent to 4,467.2.

The Shanghai Composite dropped 5.07 percent to 2,559.93, bringing its declines to nearly 20 percent in the past three weeks, with property shares contributing the most to the retreat on the session.

New York equities markets were lower in midday trade as shares related to commodities fell on falling prices for oil and metals, and as the euro hit a four-year low versus the US dollar.

At just before 1 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.29 percent lower to 10,482.84 while the S&P 500 had dropped 1.35 percent to 1,120.33 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.23 percent to 2,318.1.

Crude oil prices were lower again, with the price for West Texas Intermediate down nearly $2 per barrel and the price of Brent crude down more than $3 per barrel, while precious and base metals prices also fell.

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