Cambridge Index eases 1.7%


The Cambridge Index dropped 519.3 points or 1.7% to close at 27,730.6, as four of the top five Index heavyweights posted weekly losses to their share prices.

Johnson Matthey, down 0.5%, announced that it has received a contract from Methanex Corporation for supplying a licence for a 5,000 mtpd autothermal reforming and methanol technology.

DS Smith, down 1.9%, announced that trading for the four months to 04 September 2018 remained in line with its expectations. Also, the company reported progress in all geographic regions and recorded upbeat like-for-like volume growth in the year to date.

Citigroup reissued its “Neutral” rating on AVEVA, down 6.1%.

Abcam down 2.1%, announced that its annual revenues grew to £233.2m, while its profit before tax rose to £69.1m. Peel Hunt reconfirmed its “Hold” rating on the stock.

Greene King, up 4.9%, announced that its like-for-like sales rose 2.8% for the 18 weeks ended 02 September 2018, on the back of strong beer sales amidst England’s semi-successful football World Cup campaign and the warm weather. Its branded local pubs LFL sales climbed 5.5%, while total volumes in Brewing & Brands rose by 4%. The stock received mostly “Buy” rating from various brokers.

Peel Hunt decreased its target price on Horizon Discovery Group, up 3.9%, to 177p from 181p and maintained its “Hold” rating.

Sareum Holdings, up 3.3%, announced that it has selected a candidate molecule from its TYK2 inhibitor programme to further develop a new best-in-class treatment for autoimmune diseases.

Xaar, up 2.7%, announced that its half-yearly revenues declined to £35.3m, while reported a loss before tax of £1.1m. Separately, the company announced that Windmöller & Hölscher has selected Xaar 5601 printheads to advance its first digital, single-pass press for flexible packaging. Jefferies reaffirmed its “Buy” rating on the stock with a target price of 490p.

Peel Hunt reconfirmed its “Buy” rating on Quixant, up 2.3%.

Brady, unchanged at 66.3p, announced that its half-yearly revenues slightly eased to £10.5m, while loss before tax narrowed to £2.3m.

Peel Hunt restated its “Buy” rating on Kier, down 0.1%.

Vernalis, down 0.2%, announced that the board recommends a cash offer for its issued share capital by Ligand UK.

Berenberg reduced its target price on Dialight, down 3.7%, to 420p from 530p and reconfirmed its “Sell” rating.

Frontier Developments down 6.3%, announced that annual revenues dropped to £34.2m, while profit before tax fell to £2.8m. Citigroup lowered its target price on the stock to 1500p from 1540p and maintained its “Buy” rating.

UK markets closed on a weaker footing last week, dragged down by heavy losses in mining sector stocks. The UK’s manufacturing PMI slid its lowest level in 25 months in August, while the construction PMI declined to a 3-month low in the same month. The UK’s services PMI climbed more than expected in August, whereas the Halifax house price index advanced in the three months ended August 2018. The FTSE 100 index declined 2.1% to settle at 7277.7, while the FTSE AIM 100 index fell 0.2% to close at 5886.06. Meanwhile, the FTSE techMARK 100 index lost 1.8% to end at 4623.45.

US markets ended in negative territory the previous week, after US trade deficit widened to a 5-month high in July. The US manufacturing PMI fell to its weakest reading since November 2017 in August, while the nation’s factory orders fell higher than expected in July. The US non-farm payrolls index climbed higher than expected in August, whereas the ISM manufacturing activity index unexpectedly advanced to a 14-month high in the same month. The US unemployment rate remained steady near its 18-year low in August. The DJIA index fell 0.2% to end at 25916.54, while the NASDAQ index lost 2.6% to close at 7902.54.

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