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Sunday 08th of May 2011
May 4, 2011    

London retailers see gains amid general equities declines

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by Elaine Frei
London retailers see gains amid general equities declines

The London retail sector provided perhaps the only optimistic note as markets there and around the region and the world declined on the session.

Clothing retailers led gains on the 100 as Next (LSE: NXT) was up 4.37 percent on an improved outlook and Marks & Spencer (LSE: MKS) added 3.77 percent, while department stores, DIY retailers were also higher but a floor coverings retailer declined in the sector.

The FTSE 100 was down 1.62 percent to 5,984.07 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.88 percent to 11,909.1 as almost all in the mining and energy sectors were substantially lower, most insurers saw declines and chipmakers, logistics specialists and banks dropped.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.44 percent to 1,134.2 while the IBEX fell 1.04 percent to 10,712, the CAC-40 was 1.31 percent lower to 4,043.13 and the Dax dropped 1.69 percent to 7,373.93.

There were only four gainers on the Dax, led by a chemicals group and just three gainers on the CAC-40, led by Paris bank BNP Paribas (Euronext: BNP), while declines were led by a telecommunications group in Paris and by an airline in Frankfurt.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower on fears that that China will make more moves soon to tighten monetary policy after the central bank there said that its highest priority is its effort to control inflation.

Australia’s markets were lower as oil producers and miners declined on more drops in commodities prices as the Sydney Ordinaries were down 0.84 percent to 4,813.8 and the S&P/ASX200 was 0.93 percent lower to 4,740.1, while the Sensex dropped 0.35 percent to 18,469.4 in India, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.91 percent to 2,180.64, the Straits Times Index was 1.26 percent lower to 3,133.76 in Singapore, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.35 percent to 23,315.2 and the Shanghai Composite dropped 2.26 percent to 2,866.02, but Taiwna’s Taiex was up slightly, adding 0.01 percent to 8,947.35 and Tokyo’s markets remained closed for holidays.

Markets were lower in New York at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.97 percent to 12,683.2 while the S&P 500 had dropped 1.06 percent to 1,342.3 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.07 percent lower to 2,811.33.

Crude oil prices dropped in midday trade in new York after the US Energy Information Administration said that crude oil inventories were up by 3.4 million barrels last week, although gasoline and distillates stockpiles fell during the week despite a 2 percent decline in gasoline demand over the past four weeks, with West Texas Intermediate crude down $2 in midday trade in New York to well below $110 per barrel, while Brent crude was down $1.55 to below $121 per barrel in London.

Metals prices were also significantly lower as gold dropped $32 per troy ounce at midday in New York, while silver was down by $3.27 per troy ounce and copper had retreated by 12 cents per pound.

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