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11th of August 2011
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BG Group leads gains on 100

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by Elaine Frei
BG Group leads gains on 100

European equities markets were mixed Tuesday as some individual stocks declined on missed analyst estimates, and on growing concern that US legislators will not come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling there, risking a default by the United States on its debt.

The FTSE 100 saw gains, but was only up 0.08 percent to 5,929.73, while the FTSE 250 added just 0.02 percent to 11,788.9 after the Office for National Statistics said that the UK’s gross domestic product was up by just 0.2 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter.

Oil and gas producer BG Group (LSE: BG) added 4.32 percent to lead gains on the 100 and in the energy sector after it reported that net income doubled in the second quarter, but BP (LSE: BP) was the biggest decliner among energy companies, dropping2.56 percent after its profits report did not meet analyst expectations, while the best performance on the 250 came from electronics group Pace (LSE: PIC), which makes set-top boxes for cable and satellite television, as it added 8.29 percent.

Food producer Cranswick (LSE: CWK) was the worst performer on the 250 as it dropped 14.94 percent after it reported that sales were down in its fiscal first quarter and on an analyst downgrade from “buy” to “hold”, while software group ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM), which was down 3.33 percent, did the worst on the 100.

Most sectors were mixed on the session, but most home builders were lower, only two constituents of the real estate sector saw gains and there was only one gainer in the chemicals sector.

The utilities sector, on the other hand, was mostly higher as water utilities Pennon Group (LSE: PNN) and United Utilities (LSE: UU) added 1.97 percent and 0.25 percent respectively after analysts made positive comment on both, while JPMorgan Chase upgraded Pennon from “neutral” to “overweight”.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.29 percent to 1,101.55 while the IBEX was 0.33 percent lower to 9,833.4 and the CAC-40 dropped 0.66 percent to 3,787.88, but the Dax added 0.07 percent to 7,349.45.

Most markets in Asia and the Pacific region were higher, although the Sensex was down 1.87 percent to 18,518 2 after the Reserve Bank of India raised the repurchase rate there by 0.5 percent to 8 percent in order to fight inflation.

It was the 11th time the Bank has raised rates in less than a year and a half.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.47 percent to 10,097.7 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was up 0.5 percent to 866.2 and the Mothers market gained 0.27 percent to 483.32, although power companies saw declines after reports that fuel costs at power companies will likely go up due to the ongoing shutdown of nuclear plants that is causing them to rely more on power from other sources.

Chubu Electric Power (TYO: 9502) was down 1.1 percent while Tohoku Electric Power (TYO: 9506) was 1.3 percent lower and Tokyo Electric Power (TYO: 9501) dropped 1.3 percent.

Camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751) added 2.6 percent after it issued an improved outlook on net income.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.47 percent to 3,186.57 in Singapore, the Shanghai Composite added 0.53 percent to 2,703.03, South Korea’s Kospi was 0.85 percent higher to 2,168.7, Australia’s markets were up as the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.92 percent to 4,646.3 and the S&P/ASX200 added 4,573.3, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.25 percent to 22,572.1, and Taiwan’s Taiex was 1.28 percent higher to 8,794.24.

New York equities markets were mixed at just past 1 p.m. local time as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.51 percent to 12,528.1 and the S&P 500 was 0.19 percent lower to 1,334.88, but the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.07 percent to 2,844.67.

Crude oil prices were higher as the US dollar weakened and consumer confidence in the US improved n July, with West Texas Intermediate crude up $1.02 to $100.22 per barrel, while Brent crude was lately reported up 73 cents to $118.67 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Gold was at a new record at $1,616.80 per troy ounce at midday in New York and silver was up by 16 cents per ounce, while copper had added 7 cents per pound on a strike at a big mine in Chile, which is now in its fifth day.

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News posted: July 26, 2011

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