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September 9, 2010    

BP gains after it issues report sharing blame for leak

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by Elaine Frei
BP gains after it issues report sharing blame for leak

European equities markets were higher Wednesday on improved sentiment after good demand during a government bond auction in Portugal, calming recent renewed worries about debt problems in the region.

The FTSE 100 added 0.41 percent to 5,429.74 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.35 percent to 10,216.71.

BP (LSE: BP) added 1.32 percent after it issued a report which said that no one mistake caused the disastrous explosion and leak at a well in the Gulf of Mexico and apportioned blame among itself and several other companies.

Share prices for BP were also helped after Fitch Ratings raised the oil company’s credit rating three notches, from BBB to A, citing the fact that there was no more risk of oil leaking from the damaged well.

ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) added 5.84 percent to lead gains on the 100 after it won the right to put its technology in Samsung’s (KRX: 005930, 005935) latest application processor chip, replacing Imagination Technologies (LSE: IMG), which dropped 11.08 percent to lead declines on the 250 and in London generally.

The best performance on the 250 came from energy efficiency products group Eaga (LSE: EAGA), which added 7.83 percent.

Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) dropped 1.91 percent as the worst performer on the 100, leading most banks lower, although Standard Chartered bucked the trend in the sector by adding 0.84 percent.

The travel and leisure sector was mixed, with gains led by online gambler PartyGaming (LSE: PRTY), which was up 5.76 percent after the European Union’s top court said that German rules protecting betting monopolies were unjustified, while the worst performance in the sector came from travel agent Thomas Cook Group, which was down 2.29 percent.

Most miners were higher on gains in metals prices, led by Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC), which added 4.19 percent, while there were only three decliners in the sector, led by iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) with a decline of 0.82 percent.

Home builder Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV) fell 4.27 percent after reporting a loss for the full year.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.04 percent to 1,072.85 while the Dax added 0.76 percent to 6,164.44, the CAC-40 was 0.92 percent higher to 3,677.21 and the IBEX gained 1.02 percent to 10,586.2.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower on the session, on concerns that the yen’s continuing strength versus the US dollar and the euro will not only hurt exporters but will harm the economic recovery more generally.

The Nikkei 225 was down 2.18 percent to 9.024.6 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 1.67 percent to 820.99 and the Mothers market dropped 1.46 percent to 374.67.

Among exporters, both camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751) and automobile manufacturer Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) dropped 2.1 percent, while consumer electronics maker Sony (TYO: 6758) was down 2.2 percent.

Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest (TYO: 6857) dropped 4.4 percent.

Commodities trader Mitsubishi Corp (TYO: 8058) was 2.8 percent lower on the session.

Property developers in Shanghai and Hong Kong were lower on concerns that China will put more measures into place to cool the property market there, while developers in Australia also lost ground after JPMorgan Chase cut recommendations on five investments trusts, saying that their shares cost too much.

China Vanke (SZSE: 000002) fell 2.4 percent on the Shenzhen exchange in China, while Poly Real Estate Group (SSE: 600048) was down 2.8 percent in Shanghai, while in Australia GPT Group (ASX: GPT) and Stockland (ASX: SGP) were each 1 percent lower, and ING Office Fund (ASX: IOF) dropped 2.4 percent.

The Shanghai Composite was 0.11 percent lower to 2,695.29 while Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.42 percent to 7,851.31 and the Kospi was down 0.48 percent to 1,779.22 in South Korea.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 0.75 percent to 4,578.3, while the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.79 percent to 4,537.2.

The Straits Times Index was 0.81 percent lower to 3,011.42 in Singapore, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.46 percent to 21,088.86.

India’s Sensex managed to add 0.12 percent to 18,666.71 on the session.

New York markets were higher in early afternoon trade as concerns eased over economic conditions in Europe, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.63 percent to 10,405.32 while the S&P 500 had added 0.86 percent to 1,101.21 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.1 percent higher to 2,233.16.

Prices for crude oil were higher as West Texas Intermediate crude traded back above $75 per barrel, while metals prices were mixed in New York trade as copper and silver advanced but gold traded slightly below yesterday’s record high price.

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