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Saturday 08th of January 2011
January 6, 2011    

Fresnillo leads miners lower in London

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by Elaine Frei
Fresnillo leads miners lower in London

European markets were mostly lower Thursday as investors hesitated ahead of the release of last month’s employment numbers from the United States.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.4 percent to 6,019.51 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.21 percent to 11,716.90.

Miners were lower as copper prices dropped on more gains in inventories, with Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) falling the most in the sector and on the 100 as it declined 5.34 percent and as Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) dropped 3.09 percent and African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG) was down 3.08 percent and were also among the top five decliners on the 100.

Meanwhile, over on the 250, miner Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR) was 4.6 percent lower.

There were only four gainers among miners, led by Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY) with a gain of 1.12 percent.

Most retailers were lower, led by Mothercare (LSE: MTC), which specializes in products for expectant mothers and young children and fell 5.52 percent, while Marks & Spencer (LSE: MKS) added 3.52 percent for the best performance in the sector.

The worst performer on the 250 was household and personal care products manufacturer McBride (LSE: MCB), which was down 5.88 percent.

British Airways (LSE: BAY) led gainers on the 100, adding 4.38 percent to lead advances in the travel and leisure sector, while home builder Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) was the best performer on the 250 as it added 6.71 percent.

Chipmaker ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) was up 2.25 percent after Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) confirmed reports that a new version of its Windows operating system will run on ARM chip designs.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.36 percent to 1,146.59 and the Dax added 0.6 percent to 6,981.39 but the CAC-40 was down fractionally, dropping 0.19 of a point to 3,904.42, and the IBEX was down 1.01 percent to 9,702.7.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed.

The Nikkei 225 added 1.44 percent to 10,529.8 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was up 1.41 percent to 924.51 and the Mothers market gained 1.34 percent to 445.64.

Carmakers and other exporters were helped as the yen weakened against the US dollar.

Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) was up 1.3 percent while Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261) added 2.1 percent, Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) was 2.6 percent higher and Fuji Heavy Industries (TYO: 7270), which makes Subaru automobiles, gained 4.1 percent after Goldman Sachs upped its recommendation on the company from “neutral” to “buy”.

Camera makers were higher, with Canon (TYO: 7751), which also makes copiers, adding 1.4 percent while Nikon (TYO: 7731) gained 3.5 percent.

Nintendo (TYO: 7974), manufacturer of Wii game consoles, was up 2.7 percent.

Traders were higher after prices for oil and copper saw gains in New York yesterday, as Mitsubishi Corp (TYO: 8058) added 1.9 percent and Mitsui & Co (TYO: 8031) gained 2.7 percent.

Other gainers in the region included Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which was up 0.12 percent to 445.64, while in Australia both the Sydney Ordinaries and the S&P/ASX200 added 0.21 percent, to 4,831.1 and 4,725 respectively.

Taiwan’s Taiex was up 0.42 percent to 8,883.21 and the Straits Times Index gained 0.78 percent to 3,279.7 in Singapore.

The Kospi was down 0.24 percent to 2,077.61 in South Korea, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.51 percent to 2,824.2 in China and India’s Sensex was 0.57 percent lower to 20,184.7.

New York markets were mixed in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.4 percent to 11,675.7, while the S&P 500 had dropped 0.37 percent to 1,271.87 but the Nasdaq Composite was 0.1 percent higher to 2,704.85.

Crude oil prices were lower, with West Texas Intermediate down $2.05 to trade at $88.25 per barrel while Brent crude was down $1.44 to $94.06 per barrel in recent London trade.

Precious metals prices were mixed as gold was down slightly but silver had advanced a bit, while among base metals copper had dropped 8 cents per pound at midday in New York.

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