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October 6, 2010    

EasyJet adds 11.99 percent on better-than-expected profits

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by Elaine Frei
EasyJet adds 11.99 percent on better-than-expected profits

European equities markets were higher Wednesday on the possibility that other central banks will follow the Bank of Japan’s example and introduce more steps to help their economies recover.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.81 percent to 5,681.39 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 1.11 percent to 10,800.23.

EasyJet (LSE: EZJ) added 11.99 percent to lead gains on the 250 after the airline said it’s full-year profit was better than it had expected in the fiscal year ending 30 September.

Still in the mostly higher travel and leisure sector, British Airways (LSE: BAY) was up 4.52 percent for a second day of gains, while the worst performance in the sector was turned in by car rental agents Avis Europe (LSE: AVE), which fell 2.73 percent.

Investment managers Man Group (LSE: EMG) was the best performer on the 100 as it added 4.67 percent.

Most miners were higher, with only Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) declining as it dropped 1.05 percent, while iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) had the best day in the sector, adding 5.79 percent while Anglo American (LSE: AAL) was up 4.18 percent and Lonmin (LSE: LMI) gained 4 percent.

The energy sector was also mostly higher, although Wellstream Holdings (LSE: WSM) fell 2.44 percent after US-based General Electric (LSE: GE) said the designer and manufacturer of pipeline systems for the oil and gas industry had rebuffed a takeover offer worth £775 million.

Oil explorer EnQuest (LSE: ENQ) had the best day in the energy sector, adding 6.26 percent, while Essar Energy (LSE: ESSR) followed with a gain of 4.59 percent.

The worst performer of the day in London was software group Autonomy Corporation (LSE: AU), which fell 16.25 percent on the 100 after it cut its prediction for full year revenues, and after Numis Securities cut the company’s target share price.

Also in the software sector, Micro Focus International (LSE: MCRO) dropped 3.01 percent for the worst performance of the day on the 250.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.37 percent to 1,069.73 while the IBEX added 0.46 percent to 10,700.2 and the Dax and the CAC-40 each gained 0.88 percent, to 6,270.73 and 3,764.91 respectively.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on expectations that other nations in the region will make moves to help economic growth.

The Nikkei 225 was 1.81 percent higher to 9,691.43 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 1.42 percent to 844.5 but the Mothers market dropped 0.02 percent to 363.48.

Banks were higher on the steps took yesterday by the Bank of Japan to help the economy there as the Bank announced an interest rate cut to near zero percent and said it will buy government and corporate bonds.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316) added 1.8 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ (TYO: 8306) was up 2.6 percent and Mizuho Financial Group (TYO: 8411) gained 8.6 percent.

Traders and shippers made gains on advances in metals prices in London on Monday.

The real estate sector also advanced, with Mitsui Fudosan (TYO: 8801) up 3.5 percent while Mitsubishi Estate (TYO: 8802) was 4.2 percent higher and Sumitomo Realty and Development (TYO: 8830) added 5.2 percent.

Carmakers and other exporters declined as the yen strengthened, with Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) down 0.8 percent while Nissan Motor (TYO: 7201) dropped 2.4 percent

Elsewhere in the region, India’s Sensex added 0.66 percent to 20,543.08 while the Straits Times Index was up 0.88 percent to 3,190.07 in Singapore, Taiwan’s Taiex gained 1.02 percent to 8,284.03, the Hang Seng was 1.07 percent higher to 22,880.41 in Hong Kong and South Korea’s Kospi added 1.33 percent to 1,903.95.

Australia’s markets also saw gains as the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.66 percent to 4,738 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 1.73 percent to 4,686.8.

China’s markets remained closed for a holiday.

New York markets were lower in midday trade, with the Nasdaq Composite particularly hurt by declines in the semiconductors sector after Morgan Stanley downgraded two sector constituents to “underweight” on worries about demand declines in Asia.

The Nasdaq was down 0.82 percent to 2,380.09 at just past 12:30 p.m. in New York, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 0.01 percent to 10,943.58 and. the S&P 500 was 0.19 percent lower to 1,158.57.

Crude oil and metals prices were higher in midday trade, with gold adding another $9 to trade at $1,349.30 per troy ounce.

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