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November 8, 2010    

Gartmore Group drops 15 percent on announcements

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by Elaine Frei
Gartmore Group drops 15 percent on announcements

European equities markets started the week lower on Monday as more trouble for the Irish economy caused investors to rekindle concerns about European debt.

The FTSE 100 was 0.43 percent lower to 5,849.96 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.29 percent to 11,047.6.

Investment manager Gartmore Group Ltd (LSE: GRT) led declines in London as it fell 15.01 percent on the 250 after it announced that its leading fund manager will retire at the end of the year, that its Chief Investment Officer is leaving to go to work for another company and that it has hired Goldman Sachs to advise it on a merger or sale.

On the other hand, environmental consultancy RPS Group (LSE: RPS) added 4.89 percent to lead gains on the 250, while satellite telecommunications group Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT) turned in the best performance on the 100 after it said that its operating profits rose by 18 percent in the third quarter on strong demand.

Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) was the biggest loser in the banking sector and on the 100 as it fell 3.02 percent, but HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA) managed to add 0.89 percent for the only gain among London banks.

Commodities-related shares were mixed.

Among miners, Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY) did the best in the London sector, gaining 3.05 percent, while Talvivaara Mining Company (LSE: TALV) was the worst performer as it dropped 4.3 percent, while African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG) was down 1.91 percent after Goldman Sachs cut its recommendation on the gold miner from “neutral” to “sell”.

Meanwhile in the energy sector, most shares fell, led by Afren (LSE: AFR), which was down 5.5 percent, while JKX Oil & Gas (LSE: JKX) was up 4.84 percent to lead the five gainers in the sector.

Airplane-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce (LSE: RR) added 2.71 percent after it said that the problem which caused the explosion of one of its Trent 900 engines in flight last week was unique to that engine model, and that it will keep the A380 fleet grounded for at least three more days as it makes progress toward figuring out exactly what led to the engine failure.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.06 percent to 1,110.66 while the Dax fell 0.05 percent to 6,750.5, the CAC-40 was 0.08 percent lower to 3,913.7 and the IBEX dropped 1.31 percent to 10,291.8.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher after the US Labor Department reported last week that the US economy added more jobs than expected last month.

The Nikkei 225 was up 1.11 percent to 9,732.93 in Tokyo, wile the Topix index was 0.81 percent higher to 841.74 and the Mothers market gained 2.52 percent to 364.34.

Carmakers were up, including a 2 percent gain for Nissan Motor (TYO: 7201), while Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) added 3.3 percent, Isuzu Motors (TYO: 7202) was up 4.8 percent and Fuji Heavy Industries (TYO: 7270), which makes Subaru cars, was 6.6 percent higher.

Construction machinery manufacturer Komatsu (LSE: 6301) was up 4.7 percent, while consumer electronics maker Sony (TYO: 6758) gained 1.1 percent.

Banks had more trouble, with Resona Holdings (TYO: 8308) dropping 8.6 percent after it said it will sell up to ¥600 billion in common stock in the next year so that it can buy back preferred shares from the government.

Other gainers in the region included South Korea’s Kospi, which was up 0.18 percent to 1,942.41, while the Hang Seng added 0.35 percent to 24,964.4 in Hong Kong, the Shanghai Composite was 0.96 percent higher to 3,159.51 and the Straits Times Index gained 1.85 percent to 3,300.4 in Singapore.

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.22 percent to 8,430.58, while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.36 percent to 4,855.3 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 0.46 percent to 4,855.3, and India’s Sensex was 0.73 percent lower to 20,852.4.

New York markets were lower in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.38 percent to 11,400.5 while at the same time the S&P 500 had dropped 0.32 percent to 1,221.9 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.06 of a point lower to 2,578.92.

Crude oil prices were mixed, with December contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude down slightly in New York trade, while Brent crude had added a bit in London.

Metals prices were higher in New York, with gold trading in record territory above $1,400 per troy ounce.

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