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October 13, 2010    

Vedanta Resources leads FTSE 100 higher in London

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by Elaine Frei
Vedanta Resources leads FTSE 100 higher in London

European equities markets were higher Wednesday on indications that the US Federal Reserve is getting close to making more moves to help the economy.

The FTSE 100 was 1.51 percent higher to 5,747.35 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 1.38 percent to 10,902.

The mining sector saw advances after copper prices advanced, with three miners among the top five gainers on the 100, led by Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) with a gain of 5.73 percent while Anglo American (LSE: AAL) added 5.24 percent and Xstrata (LSE: XTA) was up 4.5 percent.

Meanwhile, over on the 250, Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) added 6.92 percent to lead all London miners, while the only decliner in the mining sector was Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR), which dropped 1.25 percent.

There were only four decliners in the energy sector, but oil and gas explorer SOCO International (LSE: SIA) was the biggest decliner in London for the second session in a row, dropping 6.15 percent on the 250 after it said yesterday that it will abandon a test well in the waters off Vietnam.

The best performance in the energy sector came from Petrofac Ltd (LSE: PFC), as the construction and chemical engineering group which offers services to the energy industry added 4.1 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded it from “equal weight” to “overweight”, and after the US government lifted its ban on deep-water drilling earlier than had been expected.

The worst performer on the 100 was clothing manufacturer Burberry Group (LSE: BRBY), which dropped 3.18 percent after a forecast that full-year profits will be in the top half of analysts’ expectations nevertheless disappointed investors who expected a raised outlook.

Most banks were lower in London, with the worst performance in the sector coming from Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) after it said it will raise £3.3 billion in a rights issue, while the only gainer in the sector was HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA), which added 1.19 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.45 percent to 1,086.83 while the IBEX added 2.05 percent to 10,866.1, the Dax was 2.06 percent higher to 6,434.52 and the CAC-40 gained 2.12 percent to 3,828.34.

There were only two decliners each on the Dax and the CAC-40.

The Nikkei 225 was 0.16 percent higher to 9,403.51 in Tokyo, but the Topix index was 0.24 percent lower to 822.65 and the Mothers market dropped 1.44 percent to 354.85 as machinery orders in Japan rose 10.1 percent in August from July’s level, against an expected decline.

Construction machinery manufacturer Komatsu Ltd (TYO: 6301) was up 0.0 percent while industrial robot maker Fanuc (TYO: 6954) added 2.3 percent.

Shares related to semiconductors saw gains after US-based chipmaker Intel (NAS: INTC) said its earnings were up by 59 percent in the third quarter, with Advantest (TYO: 6857) up 0.2 percent while Nikon Corp (TYO: 7731), which makes steppers used in chip fabrication, added 0.9 percent, Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8053) was 1.3 percent higher and Yokogawa Electric Corp (TYO: 6841) gained 2.6 percent.

Fast Retailing (TYO: 9983) dropped 2.4 percent after falling nearly 10 percent on Tuesday after issuing a profits warning.

Australia’s markets were up slightly as the S&P/ASX200 added 0.04 percent to 4,619.9 and the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.1 percent to 4,691.1.

Taiwan’s Taiex was up 0.2 percent to 8,106.66, the Kospi added 0.43 percent to 1,876.15 in South Korea, and the Shanghai Composite was 0.7 percent higher to 2,861.36 in China.

China’s markets were helped by new import and export data showing that it’s imports were up 24.1 percent in September and its exports jumped 25.1 percent to leave a trade surplus of $16.88 billion, although the surplus was its lowest in five months.

Also tending to push the markets higher in China was an announcement from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development which said the government will start a pilot program to promote the sale of construction materials, especially cement, in rural areas.

Real estate developers saw gains in China, as China Vanke Co (SZSE: 000002) added 6.8 percent in Shenzhen, while Gemdale Corp (SSE: 600383) was up 7.3 percent and Poly Real Estate (SSE: 600048) gained 10 percent, both in Shanghai.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.45 percent to 23,457.69, the Straits Times Index was up 1.68 percent to 3,202.16 in Singapore and India’s Sensex gained 2.4 percent to 20,687.88.

New York markets were higher at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.14 percent to 11,145.81 while the S&P 500 had added 1.09 percent to 1,182.53 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.18 percent higher to 2,446.48.

Prices for crude oil and metals were higher in New York trade, with December cold adding $25.90 to $1,372.60 per troy ounce, putting it well in record territory at around 12:30 p.m. local time.

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