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July 14, 2010    

Hochschild Mining leads sector lower

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by Elaine Frei
Hochschild Mining leads sector lower

European equities markets were mixed Wednesdays as London markets were down on declines in energy and mining shares.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.33 percent to 5,253.52 in London, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.43 percent to 9,895.61.

Most miners were lower, with decliners led by a 2.53 percent drop for Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC).

Only three miners saw gains, led by gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES), which added 1.28 percent, while African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG) was up 0.33 percent and nickel miner Talvivaara Mining Company was just 0.1 percent higher.

The energy sector was also mostly lower, with Melrose Resources (LSE: MRS) seeing the biggest decline as it fell 4.36 percent, followed by Lamprell (LSE: LAM) which dropped 4.36 percent, both on the 250, while Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE) was down 3.61 percent on the 100.

BP was down 2.28 percent on a delay in testing the new cap on its leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Chipmaker ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) led gains on the 100, adding 3.11 percent after Goldman Sachs raised its target share price by 35 percent and US chipmaker Intel (NAS: INTC) turned in better than expected quarterly results.

ICAP (LSE: IAP) was 4.61 percent lower to lead declines on the 100 after it said it had seen less activity in the last quarter due to reduced risk appetite and after Numis Securities cut its recommendation on the interdealer money broker from “add” to “hold”.

The biggest gainer in London was Ashmore Group (LSE: ASHM), as the money manager added 3.91 percent on the 250 after it said that it has seen a 7 percent increase in the assets it manages, while the biggest loser in London was Intermediate Capital Group (LSE: ICP), which fell 5.05 percent, also on the 250.

Burberry Group (LSE: BRBY) dropped 2.99 percent after Deutsche Bank cut its recommendation on the clothing manufacturer from “buy” to “hold”, while broadcaster ITV (LSE: ITV) was down 3.9 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded it from “neutral” to “underperform” and cut its target share price, saying that its shares were too costly.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.14 percent to 1,044.04 and the CAC-40 dropped 0.13 percent to 3,632.98, but the IBEX was up 0.19 percent to 10,278.5 and the Dax gained 0.3 percent to 6,209.76.

Asia-Pacific markets were higher after Singapore raised its growth projections, saying that its economy will grow by up to 15 percent this year, better than earlier forecasts of 7 percent to 9 percent growth after reporting that the gross domestic product in the April through June quarter was up 19.3 percent over the same period last year and manufacturing grew by 45.5 percent in the quarter over last year.

The report and projection fed optimism that economic conditions are improving in the region.

The Nikkei 225 was up 2.71 percent to 9,795.24 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 1.91 percent to 870.73 and the Mothers market gained 2.24 percent to 405.46.

Carmakers were higher on hopes that demand with increase with better economic conditions, with Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) up 3.9 percent and Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) adding 4 percent on the session.

Construction machinery manufacturer Komatsu (TYO: 6301) was 5.4 percent higher after it raised its profit forecast for the first half by 41 percent, reporting rising demand in Asia and Latin America.

Chip testing equipment maker Advantest (TYO: 6857) gained 5.7 percent after US chipmaker Intel (NAS: INTC) reported income was up more in the second quarter than analysts had projected and forecast that sales will rise in the third quarter.

Elsewhere in the region the Hang Seng added 0.64 percent to 20,560.81, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.82 percent to 2,470.44.

Singapore’s Strait Times Index was also 0.82 percent higher, to 2,952.81, while the Kospi was up 1.32 percent to 1,758.01 in South Korea and the Taiex added 1.54 percent to 7,714.51 in Taiwan.

The Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.76 percent to 4,477.3 in Australia, while the S&P/ASX200 was 1.87 percent higher to 4,462.4.

India’s Sensex, however, was 0.27 percent lower to 17,938.16.

New York markets were higher in midday trade on Intel’s (NAS: INTC) positive results, but gains were held back by new data from the Commerce Department showing that US retail sales were down 0.5 percent in June.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.21 percent to 10,384.96 at midday in New York while at the same time the S&P 500 had added 0.23 percent to 1,097.83 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.75 percent higher to 2,258.95.

Crude oil prices were higher, with both West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crude both trading above $77 per barrel.

Prices for silver and copper were slightly higher, while gold was lower but was still trading above $1,200 per troy ounce.

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