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09th of August 2011
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Punch Taverns drops 79 percent on demerger

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by Elaine Frei
Punch Taverns drops 79 percent on demerger

European equities markets were lower Monday despite news that US lawmakers have reached a deal regarding raising the US debt ceiling, as the Institute for Supply Management said its US factory index was at 50.9 in July, from 55.3 in June, close to the level indicating contraction rather than expansion of factory activity.

The ISM’s index was expected to drop in July, but only to 54.5.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.7 percent to 5,774,43 in London, while the FTSE 250 was 1.09 percent lower to 11,426.1 as pubs operator Punch Taverns (LSE: PUB) dropped 79.54 percent to lead declines in the mostly lower travel and leisure sector and on the 250 as it completed its demerger from its Spirit unit.

Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) was the biggest decliner on the 100, falling 4.98 percent and leading a banking sector that was all lower except for a gain of 2.19 percent for HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA).

Besides the banking sector, the mining sector, chemicals groups, the food and beverage sector, media groups and telecoms each saw just one gainer per sector on the session, while the utilities sector was all lower.

All of the five top gainers on the 250 came from the mixed financial services sector and the mostly higher real estate sector, as private equity and investment management group SVG Capital (LSE: SVI) added 2.89 percent to lead gains on that index, while product testing specialist Intertek Group (LSE: IRTK) gained 3.92 percent as the best performer on the 100 after it increased its full-year outlook after it reported earnings and sales up in the first half.

Laird plc (LSE: LRD) dropped 14.86 percent in the mostly lower industrial goods and services sector after Cooper Industries (NYSE: CBE) withdrew its bid for the electronics group, while defense and aerospace group BAE Systems (LSE: BA), which gets nearly half of its sales in the United States, dropped 2.96 percent on the decline in US factory activity, and computer hardware and software maker Kofax (LSE; KFX) was down 8.01 percent on a broker downgrade from “buy” to “hold”.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.98 percent to 1,071.56 while the CAC-40 fell 2.31 percent to 3,588.05, the Dax was 2.86 percent lower to 6,953.98 and the IBEX dropped 3.24 percent to 9,318.2.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher after the announcement that Congress has come to an agreement over raising the US debt ceiling just ahead of a deadline default on US obligations.

The Nikkei 225 was up 1.34 percent to 9.965.01 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 1.23 percent higher to 851.7 and the Mothers market gained 2.31 percent to 463.72 as many exporters gained on a stronger US dollar and auto parts manufacturer Denso Corp (TYO: 6902) added 2.9 percent after it raised its projections for the half-year and ceramic fixture maker Toto Ltd (TYO: 5332) was up 6.3 percent as it raised its full-year outlook on net income by 18 percent on a recovery in demand.

Carmakers Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) and Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) were up 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent respectively on the stronger dollar, while businesses with ties to China gained after the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing’s manufacturing index was at 50.7 in July, ahead of an expected 50.2, although it was slightly lower than June’s reading of 50.9.

Hitachi Construction Machinery (TYO: 6305) was up 2 percent while industrial robot maker Fanuc (TYO: 6954) was up 4.6 percent.

Kyocera Corp (TYO: 6971), which makes solar panels and gets 17 percent of its revenues from the United States, was up 1 percent.

The Shanghai Composite was up 0.08 percent to 2,703.78, India’s Sensex added 0.64 percent to 18,314.3, the Taiex was 0.66 percent to 8,701.38 in Taiwan, Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.82 percent to 3,215.27, the Hang Seng was up 0.99 percent to 22,663.4, Australia’s markets were higher as the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.61 percent to 4,573.1 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 1.65 percent to 4,497.8, and the Kospi added 1.83 percent to 2,172.31 in South Korea.

New York equities markets dropped despite the deal announced regarding the US debt ceiling ahead of votes by the House of Representatives and Senate to pass the deal as investors remained uncertain whether the deal will pass and about what it means to the economy if it does pass, and on the poor manufacturing data from the Institute for Supply Management.

At 1 p.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.78 percent to 12,048.1 while the S&P 500 had dropped 0.98 percent to 1,279.57 and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.12 percent lower to 2,725.5.

Prices for crude oil and metals were lower in New York, including a 92 cent per barrel decline for West Texas Intermediate crude and an 8 cent per pound drop for copper.

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News posted: August 1, 2011

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