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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Miner, bank gains see FTSE ahead for fourth day ]

Miner, bank gains see FTSE ahead for fourth day

Miner, bank gains see FTSE ahead for fourth day
February 03, 2010 - Reuters

Gains in miners and banks, helped by rising risk appetite, outweighed weakness in drugmakers with AstraZeneca hit by fears about a cancer drug, to push Britain's top share index up 0.2 percent early on Wednesday.

Moves were mostly muted, with investors still uncertain about prospects for the global economy awaiting the U.S. ADP employment report which could give clues to closely watched U.S. non-farm payroll data due on Friday.

By 0904 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 10.50 points at 5,293.81 after it closed 0.7 percent up on Tuesday, buoyed by miners and banks for its third day of gains after a sharp sell-off at the end of January.

"The glass-half-full brigade saw the weakness at the end of January as an opportunity to buy, but the market is running out of impetus ahead of the main bulk of the earnings season," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of research at Charles Stanley.

Miners were the biggest support to the index, helped by firmer metal prices. Rio Tinto, Xstrata, Lonmin, Anglo American , Kazakhmys and BHP Billiton up 0.4-2.1 percent.

Banks also rose, supported after rising sales of previously-owned U.S. homes and robust earnings from bellwethers representing consumer and industrial businesses, including Whirlpool Corp and Cummins Inc, pointed to a steady rebound in demand.

Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group added 0.3-1.6 percent but Standard Chartered fell 0.7 percent.

Elsewhere among financials, insurer Standard Life was one of the top performers, up 3.3 percent after beating expectations for 2009 sales.

But much of those gains were outweighed by a sharp fall in pharmaceutical heavyweight AstraZeneca, down 3.3 percent as it went ex-dividend and on fears it may release negative clinical trial results for experimental bowel cancer drug Recentin.

Morgan Stanley said Recentin was likely to fail in a head-to-head trial against Roche's Avastin. An AstraZeneca spokesman declined to comment on the likely outcome of the trial but said Recentin data were expected in the first half of 2010.

GlaxoSmithKline fell 0.7 percent ahead of results due on Thursday, and Shire lost 0.4 percent.

Other stocks seen as defensive also fell with brewer SABMiller down 0.3 percent and British American Tobacco off 0.4 percent.

British consumer confidence rose in January, a Nationwide Building Society survey found, but households showed less desire to spend than normal for the start of the year and barriers to a full recovery in sentiment remain.

The Bank of England starts its two-day monetary policy committee meeting on Wednesday, with a decision due on Thursday.

The central bank was expected to signal a pause in quantitative easing by refraining from increasing its 200 billion pound asset-buying programme

On the other side of the Atlantic, U.S. ADP National Employment figures for January, due at 1315 GMT, will be of interest, ahead of Friday's key December U.S. jobs report.

Sage Group also traded ex-dividend and fell 1.4 percent.


(Source: Financial Mirror, http://www.financialmirror.com/News/Cyprus_and_World_News/19236)



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