Miners, real estate groups see gains as London markets advance

| May 18, 2011 | 0 Comments
Miners, real estate groups see gains as London markets advance

European equities markets were higher Wednesday as officials at the European Central Bank said they opposed restructuring of Greece’s loans.

The FTSE 100 was up 1.07 percent to 5,923.49 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.44 percent to 11,887.5 after the Bank of England released the minutes of the most recent meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee, revealing that it held interest rates steady earlier this month on concerns that consumer spending could be hurt by a rate increase.

Miners were higher in London on higher prices for base metals, with two companies, Centamin Egypt (LSE: CEY) and Anglo Pacific Group (LSE: APF) adding more than 9 percent each to lead gains on the 250, while there were only two declines in the sector, while the real estate sector also only saw two declines and gains were led by Land Securities Group (LSE: LAND), which led gains on the 100 as it added 6.42 percent after it said that its net income for the full year was up 14 percent on higher values for properties.

The retail sector was mixed but provided the worst performances on both the 100 and the 250 as DIY retailer Home Retail group (LSE: HOME) dropped 6.23 percent on the 250 and supermarket chain J Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY) was down 3.02 percent on the 100, while the energy sector, insurers, and the media sector were higher, banks and the travel and leisure sector were mixed and utilities were mostly lower.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.4 percent to 1,131.45 while the IBEX added 0.36 percent to 10,343.7, the Dax was 0.65 percent higher to 7,303.53 and the CAC-40 gained 0.92 percent to 3,978 and saw only two decliners.

Markets in Asia and the Pacific region were higher Wednesday with the exception of India’s Sensex, which was 0.28 percent lower to 18,086.2.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.99 percent to 9,662.08 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 1.1 percent to 837.96 and the Mothers market gained 1.56 percent to 458.18, with several companies delivering hopeful news in regard to recovery from earthquake damage.

In the semiconductors sector, Renesas Electronics Corp (TYO: 6723), which makes chips for automobile manufacturers, was 5.8 percent higher on media reports that it will reopen an earthquake-damaged plant soon, and plans to be back in full production by October, while Tokyo Electric Power (TYO: 9501) added 2.4 percent after it revealed details of a plan to bring its Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant to a cold shutdown by as soon as October and banks were higher on a plan by Mizuho Financial Group (TYO: 8411) to merge its corporate and retail operations by 2013.

The Strait Times Index was up 0.15 percent to 3,141.21, while Australia’s markets were higher as the S&P/ASX200 added 0.21 percent to 4,693.7 and the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.26 percent to 4,765.3, the Hang Seng was 0.48 percent higher to 23,011.1 in Hong Kong, Taiwan’s Taiex was up 0.68 percent to 8,944.84, the Shanghai Composite added 0.7 percent to 2,872.77 and the Kospi gained 1.59 percent to 2,135.78 in South Korea.

New York equities markets were higher in midday trade as oil prices climbed, sending shares in oil companies higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.29 percent to 12,515.3 while the S&P 500 had added 0.5 percent to 1,335.65 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.68 percent higher to 2,802.08.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil saw prices up almost 4 percent in New York at midday, adding $3.68 to back over $100 per barrel, while Brent crude was up $2.75 to nearly $113 per barrel.

Metals prices also climbed, with gold back up to nearly $1,500 per troy ounce while silver added nearly $2, or almost 6 percent, and copper had gained 11 cents, all in midday trade in New York.

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