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August 2, 2010    

Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey leads gains in London

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by Elaine Frei
Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey leads gains in London

European equities markets were higher Monday on positive quarterly reports from corporations and after separate reports in the United States showed that construction spending there was up more than anticipated and that even though manufacturing activity fell to its lowest level since December last month, it still remained in expansion and didn’t decline as much as had been expected.

The FTSE 100 was up 2.65 percent to 5,397.11 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 2.14 percent to 10,161.17.

Homebuilders were higher in London as Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) led the 250 and was the best performer in London, adding 7.62 percent while Persimmon (LSE: PSN) was 6 percent higher.

Meanwhile Petrofact Ltd (LSE: PFC), which provides construction and chemical engineering services to the oil and gas industry, added 6.24 percent to lead gains on the 100 as most in the sector saw gains, led by Salamander Energy (LSE: SMDR), which was up 6.53 percent while John Wood Group (LSE: WG) was 6.23 percent higher and Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW) gained 5.44 percent.

Miner Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) was the biggest decliner of only four on the 100 and was the only mining company to see declines, falling 1.66 percent after it cut its guidance on production for one of its mines, while iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) was the biggest gainer among miners as it added 6.32 percent.

The worst performance in London came from business processing group Xchanging (LSE: XCH), which led declines on the 250 as it dropped 12.5 percent after it warned that it will not live up to its estimates for revenue growth in the full year.

Banks were higher on the session, with HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA) gaining most in the sector as it added 5.26 percent after pretax profits more than doubled to $11.1 billion in the first half on a decline in bad debts, followed by a gain of 4.59 percent for Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY).

Tobacco companies made up two of the four decliners on the 100 as British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) dropped 0.27 percent and Imperial Tobacco Group (LSE: IMT) dropped 0.06 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 2.4 percent to 1,068.66 while the Dax added 2.34 percent to 6,292.13, the CAC-40 was 2.99 percent higher to 3,752.03 and the IBEX gained 3.2 percent to 10,835.4.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.35 percent to 9,570.31 in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 added 0.14 percent to 850.69, but the Mothers market dropped 1.21 percent to 393.67.

Carmakers were up on figures showing that demand increased in the US and Asia in July, with new vehicle sales in Japan itself were up 12.9 percent during the month.

Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) was up 1.8 percent while Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) gained 4 percent after it upped its full-year forecast by 34 percent.

Hitachi (TYO: 6501) was up 4.3 percent as the conglomerate returned to gains in net income in its fiscal first quarter after taking a loss in the same period last year, while it also increased its forecast for its fiscal first half by 82 percent.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd (TYO: 7012) added 6.5 percent after it reported a return to profits in its fiscal firsts quarter.

Australian markets were up as the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.04 percent to 4,554.4 while the S&P/ASX200 was 1.07 percent higher to 4,541.6.

India’s Sensex was up 1.19 percent to 18,081.21, the Straits Times Index added 1.25 percent to 3,025.04, the Kospi was up 1.3 percent to 1,782.27, and the Shanghai Composite gained 1.33 percent to 2,672.52 as property developers advanced.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 1.82 percent higher to 21,412.79 while the Taiex was up 1.95 percent to 7,911.68.

New York markets were up in early afternoon trade on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.75 percent to 10,649.33 at just past 1 p.m. local time, while at the same time the S&P 500 had added 1.93 percent to 1,122.82 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.54 percent higher to 2,289.5.

Crude oil prices were more than $2.50 per barrel higher, and West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at almost $81.51 per barrel at 1 p.m. New York time.

Metals prices were also higher, but gold remained below $1,185 per troy ounce in New York trade.

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