Northumbrian Water Groups leads London utilities higher

| June 27, 2011 | 0 Comments
Northumbrian Water Group leads London utilities higher

Most equities markets in Europe were higher Monday, but not by very much as investors waited to see whether Greece’s parliament will pass austerity measures necessary for it to receive bailout money from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The FTSE 100 added 0.43 percent to 4,722.34 in London, while the FTSE 250 gained 0.18 percent to 11,549.1 as utilities led gains on both indexes after Northumbrian Water Group (LSE: NWG) was up 7.96 percent to top gainers on the 250 and in the sector on bid rumors, while fellow water utilities United Utilities Group (LSE: UU) and Severn Trent (LSE: SVT) were up 3.34 percent and 1.95 percent respectively.

Investment management specialist Man Group (LSE: EMG) had the worst day on the 100, dropping 3.31 percent in a mostly higher financial services sector and fellow investment manager Jupiter Fund Group (LSE: JUP) led declines in the sector, falling 4.9 percent, while online grocery retailer Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO) was the worst performer on the 250 and in the retail sector as it dropped 9.09 percent.

Banks were higher, except for Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which was down 1.57 percent, while homebuilders saw gains and the real estate, telecommunications, and travel and leisure sector were mostly higher, and the mining and energy sectors, insurers and the health care sector were mixed.

In the health care sector, AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) was 1.08 percent lower on the news that a diabetes drug it is developing along with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) had caused more breast and bladder cancers than an existing drug.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.05 percent to 1,074.67 while the CAC-40 added 0.31 percent to 3,796.55 and the IBEX gained 0.61 percent to 9,872.2, but the Dax was down 0.19 percent to 7,107.9.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region dropped on the session as banks were mostly lower after comments from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision regarding capital requirements and possible surcharges on banks considered “too big to fail”.

The Nikkei 225 was down 1.04 percent to 9,578.31 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 0.91 percent lower to 825.64 and the Mothers market dropped 0.57 percent to 444.58 as exporters were hurt by the possibility that Greece won’t pass austerity measures in a vote in parliament there scheduled for Thursday and ahead of US data on consumer spending and manufacturing set for release today and tomorrow respectively.

Chipmakers were lower, while game console makers declined as Nintendo (TYO: 7974) was down 1.2 percent and Sony (TYO: 6758) dropped 2.1 percent.

Most carmakers were lower as Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261), which gets 18 percent of its sales from Europe, was down 1 percent and Toyota (TYO: 7203) dropped 2.1 percent, but Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) managed to add 0.67 percent.

Other decliners in the region included Taiwan’s Taiex, which was down 0.38 percent to 8,500.16 while the Hang Seng fell 0.59 percent to 22,041.8 in Hong Kong, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was 0.61 percent lower to 3,048.28, the Kospi was down 0.98 percent to 2,070.29 in South Korea, and Australian markets were lower as the S&P/ASX200 was down 1.03 percent to 4,461.8 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 1.12 percent to 4,513.8.

The Shanghai Composite managed a gain of 0.44 percent to 2,758.23 while India’s Sensex added 0.94 percent to 18,412.4 on lower oil prices.

Equities markets were higher in New York in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.89 percent to 12,041.1 while the S&P 500 had added 0.83 percent to 1,279.03 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.22 percent higher to 2,685.18.

Crude oil prices were lower in New York as August contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 77 cents to $90.39 per barrel in midday trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the US Commerce Department said that US consumer spending was about even in May despite expectations of a slight increase.

Metals prices were also lower as gold dropped below the $1,500 per troy ounce level while silver was down by $1 per troy ounce and copper retreated by 5 cents per pound.

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