Barclays leads London banks higher

| September 26, 2011 | 0 Comments
Barclays leads London banks higher

European equities markets were higher Monday as central banks and governments outside the region asked Eurozone policy makers to continue talks toward a solution to the debt problems there, while there was talk that Europe could put into place a program styled on the US Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), with banks higher on the possibility that the European Central Bank could cut interest rates.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.45 percent to 5,089.37 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.24 percent to 9,839.24 as banks and insurers were up but miners and the energy sector saw declines.

Barclays (LSE: BARC) led the London banking sector and the 100 higher as it added 6.85 percent, followed by a 3.24 percent gain by Royal Bank of Scotland Group, while three of the top five gainers on the 100 came from the insurance sector, where Legal & General Group (LSE: LGEN) added 6.85 percent to lead gains in the sector, while Aviva (LSE: AV) was up 6.38 percent and automobile insurer Admiral Group (LSE: ADM) gained 4.88 percent.

Despite the fact that there were only five gainers in the energy sector, Heritage Oil (LSE: HOIL) added 6.51 percent to lead gains in the sector and on the 250, followed in the sector by SOCO International (LSE: SIA), which added 4.41 percent while Salamander Energy (LSE: SMDR) was 3.78 percent higher, while EnQuest (LSE: ENQ) was the biggest decliner in the sector as it dropped 3.47 percent.

Components of the basic materials sector, which includes miners, were the four biggest decliners on the 100 and a miner dropped the most on the 250 while two other miners placed in the top five losers on the index.

Gold and silver miner Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) was the biggest decliner on the 100, dropping 6.85 percent after the Chicago Mercantile Exchange increased margin requirements on gold and silver trades, while Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) was down 3.93 percent, Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) fell 3.86 percent and Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) was 2.83 percent lower.

Over on the 250, African Barrick gold turned in the worst performance on that index and in the mining sector as it dropped 12.2 percent, while Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) was down 7.52 percent and iron ore miner Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO) was 4.45 percent lower.

Of the gainers in the basic resources sector, paper maker Mondi (LSE: MNDI) did the best, adding 1.19 percent, followed by commodities trader Glencore International (LSE: GLEN), which was up 0.53 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.72 percent to 897.38, while the CAC-40 added 1.75 percent to 2,859.34, the IBEX was 2.56 percent higher to 8,201.7 and the Dax gained 2.87 percent to 5,345.56.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower on continuing concerns that Europe will not be able to solve its debt problems.

The Nikkei 225 was down 2.17 percent to 8,374.13, its lowest level in over two years, in Tokyo, while the Topix index was 2.11 percent lower to 728.85 and the Mothers market dropped 3.89 percent to 374.92.

Companies doing business in Europe were lower on the debt worries, with Nissan Motor (TYO: 7201), which makes 15 percent of its sales in Europe, down 3.6 percent, while consumer electronics manufacture Sony (TYO: 6758), with 20 percent of its sales in Europe, dropped 4.1 percent.

Commodities traders saw declines on dropping copper prices, with Mitsui & Co (TYO: 8031) was 5.9 percent lower while Mitsubishi Corp (TYO; 8058) dropped 7.9 percent.

Nippon Electric Glass (TYO: 5214) was 12 percent lower after it cut its net income projection for the first half of the fiscal year by 14 percent on slowing demand for flat-panel displays.

Tokyo Electric Power (9501) was down 13 percent after the head of a governmental agency created to help Fukushima disaster victims said the electricity generator must cut jobs and make other reforms before it can consider raising rates.

India’s Sensex was down 0.69 percent to 16,051.1, Australia’s markets were lower as the S&P/ASX200 fell 1.01 percent to 3,863.9 and the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 1.28 percent to 3,927.6, the Hang Seng was 1.48 percent lower to 17,407.8 in Hong Kong, the Shanghai Composite was down 1.64 percent to 2,393.18, Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 1.65 percent to 2,654.31, the Taiex was 2.4 percent lower to 6,877.12 and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 2.64 percent to 1,652.71.

New York equities markets were higher in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.39 percent to 10,921 while the S&P 500 was up 0.97 percent to 1,147.41 and the Nasdaq Composite was higher, but only by 0.02 percent, to 2,483.64.

Crude oil prices were up at midday in New York, with November contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude adding 46 cents to $80.31 per barrel on the New York Mercantile exchange, while Brent crude was most recently reported 42 cents hither to $104.39 per barrel.

Metals prices were mixed in New York trade as gold dropped $28.90 to $1,610.90 per troy ounce at just past 12:30 p.m. local time, but at the same time silver had added 38 cents to $30.48 per troy ounce.

Copper prices were lower on concerns about a default by Greece and on the possibility of another recession that could hurt demand for the metal used in manufacturing and construction, with New York prices down less than a cent to $3.28 per pound while three-month contracts dropped $94 to $7,266 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange, where prices for copper are down 23 percent this month.

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