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November 2, 2010    

Tullow Oil, BG Group, BP all gain in London

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by Elaine Frei
Tullow Oil, BG Group, BP all gain in London

European equities markets were higher Tuesday as investors anticipated the results of a meeting of the US Federal Reserve, scheduled for today and tomorrow, with hopes that the Fed will introduce more stimulus measures to help the economy there.

The FTSE 100 was up 1.1 percent to 5,757.43 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.48 percent to 10,927.5.

Oil and gas explorer Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW) led gains on the 100 as it added 4.1 percent, while fellow explorer BG Group (LSE: BG) was up 3.43 percent and BP (LSE: BP) gained 1.8 percent, with both BP’s and BG’s gains coming as they reported better than expected profits in the third quarter, while BG was also helped by its raised projection for Brazil’s offshore energy resources by 34 percent.

The best performer in the energy sector was EnQuest, which was up 5.57 percent, while Hunting plc (LSE: HTG) had the worst day in the sector with a decline of 0.55 percent.

RPS Group (LSE: RPS), which does environmental planning and consultancy, added 7.59 percent to lead gains on the 250.

Among decliners, business services firm Serco Group (LSE: SRP) was down 3.66 percent for the worst performance of the day on the 100, while online gambler PartyGaming (LSE: PTRY) dropped 5.35 percent for the worst day on the 250.

Still in the travel and leisure sector, transport group National Express Group had the best day in the sector as it added 2.41 percent.

Miners were mostly higher, with both Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) and Xstrata (LSE: XTA) landing among the top five gainers of the day on the 100, adding 3.51 percent and 3.23 percent respectively, with Kazakhmys turning in the best performance in the sector.

On the other hand, the worst performance among miners came from Petropavlovsk (LSE: POG), which fell 3.51 percent.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed after central banks in both India and Australia raised interest rates.

The Reserve Bank of India hiked rates for the sixth time this year, sending its short-term bank lending rate up to 6.25 percent, while it increased the rate it pays on deposits to 5.25 percent in an effort to curb inflation at a time when consumer price inflation in that nation is at 11.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia unexpectedly bumped its key cash rate up to 4.75 percent, up a quarter of a percentage point.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.06 percent to 9,159.98 in Tokyo, but the Topix index dropped 0.02 percent to 803.12 and the Mothers market was down 0.9 percent to 346.32 as exporters declined after the yen strengthened again.

Among automobile manufacturers, Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261) fell 1 percent, while Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) was down 2.3 percent.

Semiconductors-related shares were also lower as chip-testing equipment maker Advantest (TYO: 6857) fell 1.3 percent and chip-maker Elpida Memory (TYO: 6665) dropped 5.1 percent after it said earnings were lower in its second quarter than in the first quarter.

Consumer electronics manufacturer Sony (TYO: 6758) was down 0.9 percent.

Australian markets were up slightly after the interest rate increase there, with the Sydney Ordinaries adding 0.05 percent to 4,773.2 while the S&P/ASX200 gained 0.06 percent to 4,701.4.

The Hang Seng was up 0.08 percent to 23,671.4 in Hong Kong, while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.17 percent to 1,918.04 and the Straits Times Index was 0.41 percent higher to 3,205.28 in Singapore.

India’s Sensex was down 0.05 percent to 20,345.28 while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.28 percent to 3,045.43 and the Taiex was 0.42 percent lower to 8,344.76 in Taiwan.

New York markets were up as investors waited to see what the Federal Reserve will say in the announcement at the end of its meeting tomorrow and as the US voted in midterm elections.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.81 percent to 11,214.8 in afternoon trade, while the S&P 500 had gained 0.93 percent to 1,195.43 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.17 percent higher to 2,534.25.

Crude oil prices were up with West Texas Intermediate December contracts adding just over a dollar a barrel in afternoon trade, while metals prices also saw gains.

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