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May 12, 2011    

Travel & leisure shares mostly higher amid London declines

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by Elaine Frei
Travel & leisure shares mostly higher amid London declines

London’s travel and leisure sector was mostly higher Thursday amid falling equities markets in Europe and around the globe, led by restaurant and pubs operator Restaurant Group (LSE: RTN), which was up 2.87 percent while public transport specialist National Express Group (LSE: NEX) added 2.74 percent for the two biggest gains on the FTSE 250, while the six decliners in the sector were led by online gambler Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (LSE: BPTY) and pubs operator Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI), which were 4.77 percent and 3.55 percent lower respectively.

The FTSE 100 was 0.52 percent lower to 5,944.96 in London, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.42 percent to 11,967.1 as miners and the energy sector were lower after yesterday’s declines by crude oil and metals prices, most insurers and retailers were mostly lower but utilities and the pharmaceuticals sector saw gains and a private equity group was the biggest gainer on the 100.

Besides the decline in commodities prices, European markets were hurt by new data from the European Union showing that industrial production in the Eurozone dropped unexpectedly in March.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.8 percent to 1,144.22 while the IBEX fell 0.42 percent to 10,487.6, the Dax was 0.68 percent lower to 7,443.95 and the CAC-40 dropped 0.86 percent to 4,023.29.

Asia-Pacific equities markets were also lower, partly due to the drop in commodities prices but also on concerns that China will raise interest rates again after new data showed that inflation is still on the rise there.

The Nikkei 225 was down 1.5 percent to 9,716.65 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 0.97 percent lower and the Mothers market dropped 2.03 percent to 470.60 as Tokyo Electric Power (TYO: 9501) dropped nearly 9 percent after saying that the fuel rods in one of its damaged nuclear reactors at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant are fully exposed and probably have been since shortly after the 11 March earthquake and tsunami that damaged the plant while camera makers and games manufacturers with exposure to Europe were lower after the euro weakened, oil-related shares and commodities traders declined but carmakers were up after Toyota said it will resume full production at its plants in China several months sooner than expected.

Elsewhere in the region, the Hang Seng was down 0.94 percent to 23,073.8 in Hong Kong, India’s Sensex fell 1.34 percent to 18,335.8, the Shanghai Composite was 1.36 percent lower to 2,844.08, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down 1.47 percent to 3,130.45, Australia’s markets were lower as the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 1.68 percent to 4,776.6 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 1.76 percent to 4,696.1 and South Korea’s Kospi was 2.03 percent lower to 2,122.65, but Taiwan’s Taiex was up 0.15 percent to 8,033.68.

New York equities markets were mixed in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.02 percent to 12,627.3 and the S&P 500 dropped 0.01 percent to 1,341.98, but the Nasdaq Composite added 0.35 percent to 3,098.14.

Crude oil prices and metals prices were mixed, with New York crude prices still lower at midday but London prices up very slightly, while gold and silver remained lower but copper was up 5 cents per pound.

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