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Spread betting: financial markets commentary

Market close: Monday April 07, 2008

Following strong gains in equity futures in the morning, the US cash equity indices opened sharply higher as expected. However, the gains were short-lived as Wall Street once again failed to breach upside price resistance in the major indices.

The Nasdaq Composite led the way lower, closing down 6.15 points at 2364.83. That close represented a decline of over 25 points from the session’s price peak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 3.01 points at 12612.43 despite having traded as high as 12733 intraday—a decline of about 121 points below the session’s highs. The S&P index did not fare any better, closing at 1372.54 (up 2.14 points), sharply off its intraday high of 1386.74.

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In London, the Footsie had a strong day, breaching the psychologically significant 6000 barrier. Having had a bullish open, the UK’s index of leading stocks gained new impetus in the afternoon in response to a strong start on Wall Street.

Mining stocks dominated the leaderboard on the London Stock Exchange, with the likes of Kazakhmys and Antofagasta finishing among the top five performers on the FTSE 100 index.

The Footsie ended the session at 6014.8 with a gain of 67.7 points—a move of 1.14%. In other markets, technology stocks in the UK techMARK index added 0.93% to end the day at 1,422.85 and the FTSE 250 was 0.78% better off at 10,244.50.

The main leaders and losers among the stocks on the London Stock Exchange are noted below:

FTSE 100 - winners

Eurasian Natural Resources [+8.91%]
Kazakhmys [+6.66%]
Schroders NV [+5.50%]
Vedanta Resources [+4.86%]
Antofagasta [+4.34%]

FTSE 100 - losers

HBOS [-2.27%]
Persimmon [-1.81%]
Alliance & Leicester [-1.59%]
Land Securities Group [-1.42%]
Tate & Lyle [-1.41%]

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