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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 [ Banks, commodities lead European shares down ]

Banks, commodities lead European shares down

Banks, commodities lead European shares down
November 19, 2008 - Reuters

European shares fell in morning trade on Wednesday, led by banks and commodities stocks, as prospects of a deep global recession continued to rattle investors.

At 1002 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 1.4 percent at 833.26 points, having fallen as low as 828.84. It rose nearly 1 percent on Tuesday.

The index has lost more than 44 percent this year, battered by a credit crisis and impending or actual recession in several developed economies.

BNP Paribas, Barclays, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and UBS fell between 4.4 and 6.7 percent.

Lloyds TSB was up 0.4 percent ahead of a meeting of its shareholders to approve its takeover of HBOS, which rose 10 percent.

ING was down 9.8 percent after Goldman Sachs cut its target price on the company to 9 euros, from 14 euros, while keeping its "neutral" rating.

But Irish banks were higher after a press report that the Irish government was on the brink of launching a multi-billion euro rescue plan for the country's banks, including an injection of taxpayers' money.

Anglo Irish Bank was up 21.4 percent, Bank of Ireland was up 9.5 percent and Allied Irish Banks rose 8.3 percent.

Fortis fell 8 percent, losing momentum after initially gaining on a Belgian court ruling on Tuesday that rejected a challenge by shareholders to the state-backed rescue of the financial giant.

Legal & General fell 9 percent after Deutsche Bank lowered its price target for the insurer to 75 pence, from 103, while maintaining its "hold" stance.

Strategists are still sceptical about the prospects for a sustained recovery in the market as concern about the economy continues to dominate.

"There's still not a whole lot positive happening," said Bernard McAlinden, investment strategist at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin.

"The banks are still looking weak, and markets are just holding up above the October lows. It's still precarious. The tone of the market is still dictated by the economy, and recession."

Across Europe, Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC-40 fell 0.5 to 0.8 percent. British Land fell 1.5 percent after saying its multi-billion pound portfolio shed 10.8 percent of its value in its fiscal first half as relentless credit market woes and the threat of recession added to miseries in the UK property sector.

MINERS, OILS FALL

Copper prices fell 1.7 percent. Among miners, Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Vedanta Resources and Xstrata fell 4.2 to 8.9 percent.

Oils fell as the crude price slipped more than 1 percent to below $54, near a 22-month low.

Total, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil fell between 1 and 2.9 percent.

Vodafone and HSBC fell 4.2 and 4.1 percent respectively as they went ex-dividend.

Sentiment towards banks remained negative, with U.S. giant Citigroup trading near its lowest for several years after announcing massive job cuts.

Credit checking company Experian was up 13.5 percent after posting an 8 percent rise in first-half earnings and saying that third quarter revenue growth should be similar to that seen in the first six months of its business year.

"Fundamental valuations are cheap, but it's all about confidence, and timing," said McAlinden.

The Bank of England's decision to cut the base rate to 3 percent this month was unanimous, the minutes released on Wednesday showed.


(Source: Financial Mirror, http://www.financialmirror.com/News/Cyprus_and_World_News/12719)



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