Northumbrian Water Group leads gains on 250 after receiving bid

| July 11, 2011 | 0 Comments
Northumbrian Water Group leads gains on 250 after receiving bid

European equities markets were lower Monday on concerns about debt problems in the region, which appeared to be ready to spread to Italy after the cost to insure the nation’s debt rose to record highs during the day.

The FTSE 100 was down 1.03 percent to 5,929.16 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 1.61 percent to 11,880.1, with banks, all chemicals groups, and all media and real estate companies seeing declines.

Northumbrian Water Group (NWG), however, led gains on the 250, adding 5.02 percent after it said it has received a revised bid from Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (SEHK: 1038), also leading two gains in the mostly lower utilities sector, while chipmaker ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) was the best performer on the 100 with a gain of 2.7 percent.

Essar Energy (LSE: ESSR) was the worst performer on the 100 and in the energy sector, dropping 5.43 percent in a sector where the only gainer was BP (LSE: BP), which added just 0.13 percent.

Electronics group Laird (LSE: LRD) declined the most on the 250, where it was down 6.86 percent after Cooper Industries (NYSE: CBE) said it was reconsidering its interest in bidding for Laird after Laird resisted due-diligence efforts by Cooper.

British Sky Broadcasting (LSE: BSY) dropped another 4.6 percent on continuing concerns that a bid by News Corp (NAS: NWS) for the shares of BSkyB that it does not already own will be blocked by regulators after the phone-hacking scandal at News of the World, also owned by News Corp.

Some analysts say that the purchase will likely be approved, but only after a criminal inquiry, which could put it off for up to two years.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.5 percent to 1,097.77 while the Dax fell 2.33 percent to 7,230.25, the IBEX was 2.69 percent lower to 9.670.6 and the CAC-40 dropped 2.71 percent to 3,807.51.

The Dax had just one gainer on the session, while neither the IBEX nor the CAC-40 saw any winners.
Markets in Asia and the Pacific region were mostly lower Monday after Friday’s report from the US Labor Department that the unemployment rate in the United States was up to 9.2 percent last month, and after Australia imposed a tax on businesses that produce carbon emissions, sending coal miners and steel producers lower.

The Nikkei 225 was down 0.67 percent to 10,069.5 in Tokyo, while the Topix index dropped 0.48 percent to 870.16 but the Mothers market managed to add 1.31 percent to 483.89.

Chip-related companies were lower, led by a 13 percent decline for chipmaker Elpida Memory (TYO: 6665) after it said it will sell shares and convertible bonds to raise nearly 80 billion yen, with chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035) down 2.9 percent on fewer orders.

Exporters were lower in Japan as the yen strengthened, including a decline for carmakers, while camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751) was down 1.4 percent, but Tokyo Electric Power (TYO: 9501) added 7.3 percent on a report that the government has put off a plan to sell the utility’s transmission facilities.

In addition to the new tax on carbon emitters, Australia’s markets were pushed lower by the news that pilots for Qantas Airlines (ASX: QAN) voted to take actions that could include a strike as they seek more pay and a limit on the number of non-Qantas crew on the airline’s flights, with the Sydney Ordinaries down 1.47 percent to 4,646.8 while the S&P/ASX200 dropped 1.56 percent to 4,582.3.

Other decliners included India’s Sensex was down 0.72 percent to 18,721.4, while the Taiex fell 0.96 percent to 8,665.85 in Taiwan, South Korea’s Kospi was 1.06 percent lower to 2,157.16, the Straits Times Index dropped 1.08 percent to 3,117.37 in Singapore and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.67 percent to 22,347.2.

The Shanghai Composite managed to add 0.18 percent to 2,802.69 despite data showing that inflation was at 6.4 percent in China in June.

New York equities markets were lower in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.22 percent to 12,503 while the S&P 500 had dropped 1.69 percent to 1,321.11 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 1.9 percent to 2,805.48 on concerns about debt in Europe and the United States.

Crude oil prices were lower, with West Texas Intermediate crude down by $1.27 per barrel in New York while Brent crude was last reported down $1.46 per barrel in London.

Among metals, silver and copper were both down in New York, but gold was up $7.40 to $1,549 per troy ounce in New York on safe-haven buying.

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