In the UK the benchmark FTSE 100 has fallen 12.1 points, or 0.2%, to 5489.4 in morning trading with BP, Legal and General Group and BAE Systems the biggest losers.
BP, Europe’s largest oil company, has dropped 10p, or 1.5%, to 663.5p after announcing oil and gas output fell 2.8% in the third quarter and profit in the period will be cut by more than $700m because of damage caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Legal and General, the UK’s fourth biggest insurer, has slipped 3p, or 2.6%, to 111.25p. The company says proposed changes to UK tax may lead to an additional cost of about £200m.
BAE, Europe’s largest defence company, has also fallen 8.5p, or 2.5%, to 335.75p. Brandes Investment Partners LP, is selling its stake in BAE for £239m, according to a banker managing the sale.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 213.56 points, or 1.6%, to 13,738.84 at its close a short while ago, led by technology shares such as NEC and Advantest, after the dollar rose against the yen and an industry report showed global semiconductor sales are “on pace” for a record in 2005.
NEC, Japan's biggest mobile phone maker, jumped 45 yen, or 7.2 percent, to 668, the biggest gain since July 7, 2003. Advantest, the world's biggest maker of equipment used to test computer memory chips, climbed 520 yen, or 6 percent, to 9,260.
Honda, led gains by car manufacturers, advancing 100 yen, or 1.5%, to a record 6,610. Nissan, climbed 21 yen, or 1.6%, to 1,330, after reporting increases in US sales last month, as Asian companies boosted market share on demand for fuel- efficient vehicles.
Nissan's sales rose 16% and Honda's advanced 12%, Toyota, the No.1 Asian automaker, had a 10% increase in sales.
The Bank of Japan's Tankan business confidence survey yesterday showed Japanese manufacturers expect the yen to trade at an average 105.18 against the dollar this fiscal year, stronger than the most recently traded 114.16 yen.
Fujitsu, advanced 54 yen, or 7.1%, to 814. Meanwhile, Matsushita Electric Industrial surged 109 yen, or 5.6%, to 2,055, its highest point since June 2001.
Construction companies declined after analysts lowered their ratings on four general contractors including Shimizu. saying longer-term construction spending has bottomed.
Shimizu, Japan's third-largest construction company, dropped 24 yen, or 3.3%, to 695. Taisei, the nation's largest, lost 11 yen, or 2.4 %, to 448. Kajima., the second-biggest, slipped 14 yen, or 2.7%, to 509. Obayashi, the fourth biggest, lost 19 yen, or 2.5%, to 733.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33.22 points to 10,535.48 at its close as leading stocks ended mixed after a report showing the manufacturing sector in robust health did little to boost stocks in morning trading. This promped concern that interest rates may have further to rise to contain inflationary pressures in the economy.
Within the Dow, Alcoa was the biggest percentage decliner, sliding 2.3% to $23.87, after UBS cut its 2005 and 2006 earnings per share on the aluminum maker.IFaonline
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