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June 16, 2010    

Shire leads FTSE 100 on positive broker comment

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by Elaine Frei
Shire leads FTSE 100 on positive broker comment

Most equities markets in Europe were higher Wednesday, but most of the gains were slight.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.39 percent to 5,237.92 in London, but the FTSE 250 fell 0.21 percent to 9,859.95 on the session.

Drugmaker Shire (LSE: SHP) led gains on the 100, adding 2.38 percent after Deutsche Bank began coverage with a buy recommendation, while over on the 250 plastics group Filtrona (LSE: FLTR) added 13.16 percent to lead all London shares after it issued a positive outlook.

Heritage Oil (LSE: HOIL) led gains in the energy sector as it added 2.61 percent while Wellstream Holdings (LSE: WSM) was the worst performer in the sector with a decline of 2.57 percent and BP (LSE: BP) dropped another 1.46 percent.

The utilities sector was mixed, with United Utilities Group (LSE: UU) falling 3.66 percent and water utility Severn Trent (LSE: SVT) down 4.22 percent to lead declines on the 100, but Northumbrian Water Group (LSE: NWG) gained 3.46 percent to lead gains in the sector.

Both United Utilities and Severn Trent are trading ex-dividend.

The real estate sector was mostly lower as Capital & Counties Properties (LSE: CAPC) led gains in the sector, adding 3.68 percent while residential property group Grainger (LSE: GRI) turned in the worst performance in the sector and on the 250 as it dropped 3.98 percent.

Miners were mixed, with gains led by Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC), which added 1.45 percent, while Gem Diamonds (LSE: GEMD) was the worst performer in the sector as it dropped 3.16 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.12 percent to 1,038.89 while the Dax added 0.26 percent to 6,190.91 and had only three losers on the session, the CAC-40 was 0.39 percent higher to 3,675.93 and the IBEX gained 0.6 percent to 9,683.3.

Asia-Pacific equities markets were higher on the session.

The Nikkei 225 added 1.81 percent to 10,067.15 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was up 1.54 percent to 892.38 and the Mothers market gained 1.11 percent to 423.63.

Carmakers were higher as Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) gained 1.2 percent, Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261) added 3.5 percent and Nissan Motor (TYO: 7201) was up 4.5 percent after Goldman Sachs upgraded it from “neutral” to “buy”, although it lowered the carmaker’s target share price at the same time.

Video game maker Nintendo (OSE: 7974) was 5.2 percent higher in Osaka on the launch of a new hand-held game player that offers three-dimensional images without having to wear special glasses.

Camera manufacturers were higher, with Canon (TYO: 7751) adding 3.9 percent while Nikon (TYO: 7731) gained 5.6 percent.

Semiconductor-related shares gained, with Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035) up 2.3 percent as Advantest (TYO: 6857) was 2.5 percent higher.

Elsewhere in the region, the Sensex added 0.29 percent to 17,462.87 in India while South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.91 percent to 1,705.33 and the Straits Times Index gained 1.02 percent to 2,846.94 in Singapore.

Australia’s markets were also higher as the S&P/ASX200 added 1.2 percent to 4,559 and the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.21 percent to 4,572.1.

Markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed in observance of the Dragon Boat Festival.

New York equities markets were lower after new data showed that home construction and applications for new buildings permits were both lower in May.

Home and apartment construction overall was down 10 percent last month, with single-family home construction falling by 17 percent, while applications for new building permits, which foreshadow upcoming construction activity, dropped by 5.9 percent during the month.

At just before 1 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.22 percent lower to 10,382.02, while at the same time the S&P 500 was down 0.16 percent to 1,113.45 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 0.02 percent to 2,305.46.

Prices for crude oil were higher in midday trade even though US crude oil inventories were up unexpectedly last week, according to the US Energy Information Administration, while metals prices were also lower in New York.

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