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September 16, 2010    

Robert Wiseman Dairies drops 29 percent on profits warning

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by Elaine Frei
Robert Wiseman Dairies drops 29 percent on profits warning

European equities markets were lower after retail sales declined unexpectedly in the UK, dropping 0.5 percent in August from July, against an anticipated gain of 0.3 percent.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.28 percent to 5,540.14 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.5 percent to 10,442.12.

The biggest decliner by far was Robert Wiseman Dairies (LSE: RWD), which dropped 29.31 percent on the 250 after it issued a warning on operating profit in the second half, while Dairy Crest Group (LSE: DCG) was also lower, falling 3.86 percent.

Over on the 100, inter-dealer money broker ICAP (LSE: IAP) was 3.74 percent lower for the worst performance on that index.

Cable & Wireless Worldwide (LSE: CW) led gains on the 100 and was the only company in the telecommunications sector to see gains as it added 4.51 percent after Goldman Sachs raised its recommendation from “neutral” to “buy” on the basis that CW could be the target of a takeover.

Meanwhile, BT Group (LSE: BT.A) was the worst performer in the telecoms sector, dropping 3.05 percent after Morgan Stanley cut its rating from “overweight” to “equal weight” and reduced its target share price.

BlueBay Asset Management added 7.64 percent for the best performance on the 250, helped by its report that its fiscal full-year profit nearly tripled.

Miners were mixed, with Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY) adding 5.4 percent for the best performance in the sector, while Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) dropped 3.66 percent for the worst result among miners.

Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC) added 3.7 percent after Credit Suisse upgraded its recommendation from “neutral” to “outperform”.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.76 percent to 1,076.35 while the Dax fell 0.2 percent to 6,249.65, the IBEX was 0.33 percent lower to 10,716.8 and the CAC-40 dropped 0.51 percent to 3,736.3.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region saw declines, led by the Shanghai Composite with a drop of 1.89 percent to 2,602.46 on rumors that regulators there could require banks to keep capital reserves of as much as 15 percent, stricter than the rules decided recently by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision..

If implemented, the new reserve requirements could require some Chinese banks to cut lending or to sell more shares.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (SSE: 601398) was down 1.5 percent while Agricultural Bank of China (SSE: 601288) fell 1.9 percent, China Construction Bank (SSE: 601939) was 2 percent lower, and Bank of Communications Co (SSE: 601328) dropped 2.8 percent.

The Nikkei 225 was 0.07 percent lower to 9,509.5 in Tokyo, while the Topix index fell 0.46 percent to 844.71 and the Mothers market dropped 1.17 percent to 373.37.

The declines in Tokyo came despite gains for some exporters after Prime Minister Naoto Kan promised more action to weaken the yen, as analysts were not convinced that actions on the currency would have any lasting effect.

Among exporters, Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) was up 0.5 percent and Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) added 1.7 percent while consumer electronics giant Sony (TYO: 6758) also gained 1.7 percent, but Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035) was down 0.3 percent.

Utilities declined, with Tokyo Gas Co (TYO: 9531) down 1.8 percent while Tokyo Electric Power Co (TYO: 9501) dropped 2 percent.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.13 percent to 3,067.11 in Singapore, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.16 percent to 21,691.45, the Sensex was 0.43 percent lower to 19,417.49 in India, South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.66 percent to 1,811.85 and the Taiex fell 0.78 percent to 8,099.75 in Taiwan.

In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 1.12 percent to 4,650 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 1.21 percent to 4,605.3.

New York markets were down in early afternoon trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 0.04 percent to 10,568.91, while the S&P 500 was down 0.3 percent to 1,121.71 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.29 percent lower to 2,294.56.

Crude oil prices were lower, with West Texas Intermediate down nearly $1.50 per barrel from Wednesday’s close at early afternoon in New York, while metals prices were higher as gold again traded in record territory.

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