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Sunday 06th of February 2011
January 31, 2011    

Thomas Cook Group, TUI Travel down on Egypt travel cancellations

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by Elaine Frei
Thomas Cook Group, TUI Travel down on Egypt travel cancellations

European markets were mixed Monday, with Paris and Madrid markets higher while London and Frankfurt saw declines.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.31 percent to 5,862.94 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.65 percent to 11,471.5.

Travel agents were hurt as they began to cancel flights and tour packages to Egypt due to the civil unrest there, with Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG) down 3.05 percent for the worst performance in a mixed travel and leisure sector while TUI Travel (LSE: TT) dropped 2.62 percent.

Brewer Greene King (LSE: GNK) led gains in the travel and leisure sector and on the 250, adding 5.28 percent.

The best performance in a mixed energy sector came from BG Group (LSE: BG), which was up 5.02 percent to lead gains on the 100 after it said that its operations in Egypt have not been affected by the situation there, while oil rig builder and refurbisher Lamprell (LSE: LAM), based in Dubai, turned in the worst performance in the sector, dropping 2.44 percent.

The energy sector was mixed despite gains in crude oil prices on concerns that the unrest in Egypt could cause a temporary closure of the Suez Canal, which would slow transport of oil in the region.

Miners were mixed, with Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY) doing the best in the sector as it added 4.12 percent, while iron-ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) dropped 3.34 percent for the worst day in the sector.

Banks were also mixed, with the best performance coming from Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY), which added 2.07 percent, while Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) dropped 2.39 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.13 percent to 1,145.06 while the CAC-40 added 0.08 percent to 4,005.5 and the IBEX gained 0.55 percent to 10,806, but the Dax dropped 0.36 percent to 7,077.48.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly lower as investors worried about quarterly results and as investors avoided risky deals as they remained concerned about civil unrest in Egypt as demonstrators continued to protest the government there.

The Nikkei 225 was 1.18 percent lower to 10,237.9 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was down 1.04 percent to 910.08 and the Mothers market dropped 2.15 percent to 460.81, with declines coming even though Japan’s Trade Ministry said that Japan’s industrial production was up in December.

Chiyoda Corporation (6366), an engineering group that receives 47 percent of its revenues from the Middle East, was down 2.5 percent on concerns about the situation in Egypt.

Among carmakers, Nissan Motors (TYO: 7201) was down 2.2 percent after it said it has closed its factory in Egypt at least through Thursday, while Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) was down 1.4 percent.

Camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751) fell 1 percent while Konica Minolta, which makes cameras, office equipment and imaging equipment, was 7.8 percent lower after it cut its full-year outlook and received a broker downgrade from “outperform” to “neutral”.

Consumer electronics manufacturer Sony (TYO: 6758) was down 2.7 percent.

Other decliners in the region included India’s Sensex, which was 0.37 percent lower to 18,327.8, while in Australia the S&P/ASX200 fell 0.44 percent to 4,753.9 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.46 percent to 4,850.

The Hang Seng was 0.72 percent lower to 23,447.3 in Hong Kong, the Straits Times Index was down 1.55 percent to 3,179.72 in Singapore, and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.81 percent to 2,069.73.

In China, the Shanghai Composite was 1.38 percent higher to 2,790.69, while Taiwan’s Taiex was closed in observance of the Lunar New Year.

New York markets were higher in midday trade after the Commerce Department said that consumer spending in the US was up more than expected in December, and on gains by energy companies.

At just past 12:30 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.51 percent higher to 11,883.8, while at the same time the S&P 500 had added 0.79 percent to 1,286.47 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.63 percent to 2,703.75.

Crude oil prices were up again in midday trade in New York, with March contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude up $1.85 to $91.19 per barrel, while Brent crude was lately up $1.36 to $100.78 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Metals prices were mixed, with gold down $4.60 to $1,337.10 per troy ounce, but silver was up and copper added nearly 8 cents a pound.

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