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Sunday 06th of February 2011
February 1, 2011    

Kenmare Resources leads London miners higher

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by Elaine Frei
Kenmare Resources leads London miners higher

European equities markets were higher Tuesday after new data showed that manufacturing activity is expanding in several regions globally.

In the United States, the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was at 60.8 in January, from 58.5 percent in December and despite analyst predictions that the index would fall slightly to 58, while a purchasing managers’ index from China’s logistics federation was at 52.9, showing that factory activity remains in expansion there, while another PMI for China was at 54.5, from 54.4 in the previous month.

Additionally, data showed an expansion of manufacturing in the Eurozone.

The FTSE 100 was up 1.62 percent to 5,957.82 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 1.19 percent to 11,608.5.

The mining sector was higher as base metals prices advanced, led by Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR) with a gain of 9.3 percent, followed by Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY), which was up 7.77 percent while gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) added 6.79 percent to lead gains on the 100.

Most of the energy sector was higher as well, with Heritage Oil (LSE: HOIL) the only decliner as the oil and gas explorer dropped 3.01 percent.

The best performance in the energy sector came from Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE), which added 5.04 percent.

The travel and leisure sector was mostly higher as transport group Go-Ahead Group (LSE: GOG) led gains, adding 4.26 percent, but hotels operators had trouble, with Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (LSE: MLC) leading declines as it dropped 2.85 percent and InterContinental Hotels Group (LSE: IHG) was down 0.91 percent.

The best performer on the 250 was internet grocery retailer Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO), which was up 13.62 percent, while the biggest decliner there was insulation and roofing group SIG (LSE: SHI), which was 3.57 percent lower.

The worst performance on the 100 came from defense and aerospace group BAE Systems (LSE: BA), which was down 2.46 percent.

IT group Autonomy Corporation (LSE: AU) added 6.28 percent on higher profits for the full year, while chipmaker ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) was up 6.1 percent after it said that revenues in the fourth quarter were up by 34 percent, more of a gain than analysts had predicted.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.32 percent to 1,158.59 while the IBEX added 1.5 percent to 10,697.9, the Dax was 1.51 percent higher to 7,184.27 and the CAC-40 gained 1.68 percent to 4,072.62.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly higher on yesterday’s positive economic data from the United States, as a Chicago-area business index was up rather than falling as expected, and on a report from the Commerce Department that consumer spending in the US was up by 0.7 percent in December.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.36 percent to 10,274.5 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was up 0.38 percent to 913.52 and the Mothers market gained 1.55 percent to 467.76.

Conglomerate Hitachi (TYO: 6501) added 3.4 percent on media reports that it could say it had record earnings in its fiscal third quarter.

Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) gained 2 percent after upping its profits forecast by 6 percent.

Australia’s markets were mixed, with the Sydney Ordinaries adding 0.04 percent to 4,852 while the S&P/ASX200 dropped 0.04 percent to 4,752.1.

The Kospi was up 0.11 percent to 2,072.03 in South Korea, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.15 percent to 23,482.9, the Straits Times Index was 0.16 percent higher to 3,184.74 and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 percent to 2,798.96.

India’s Sensex, on the other hand, dropped 1.67 percent to 18,022.2, while the Taiex remained closed in Taiwan in observance of the Lunar New Year.

New York markets were helped by the new data on manufacturing and on fading concerns about the situation in Egypt, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.24 percent to 12,039.6 in early afternoon trade, while the S&P 500 had added 1.67 percent to 1,307.54 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.98 percent higher to 2,753.48.

Crude oil prices were mixed, with March contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude down 31 cents to $91.88 per barrel, while Brent crude had added 94 cents to $101.95 per barrel at last report from the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Metals prices were higher in New York after copper set a new record high earlier in trade on the London Metal Exchange.

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