The Cambridge Index fell 0.4% or 96.1 points to end at 24318.2, as Index heavyweights such as AVEVA Group and Johnson Matthey posted weekly losses to their share prices.
Cambridge Index falls 0.4%
Berenberg raised its target price on Johnson Matthey, down 4.3%, to 3300p from 3600p and gave a “Buy” rating.
DS Smith, up 2.5%, in its trading update for the period since 1 November 2019, announced that it continued to perform well despite macro-economic uncertainty, as Group like-for-like corrugated box volume growth recorded a rise during the second half of the financial year, with positive performances in Iberia, Eastern Europe and the UK. DS Smith expects full year margins to be in line with that achieved in the first half.
Abcam, up 9%, announced that it has acquired the entire issued share capital of Marker Gene Technologies, Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Peel Hunt reiterated its “Add” rating on the stock. Separately, Abcam announced today that its half-yearly revenues rose 10.8% to £138.2m, while its profit before tax dropped to 22.8% £26m.
Dialight, up 11.9%, announced that it has appointed its Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and former Chief Financial Officer, Fariyal Khanbabi, as CEO with immediate effect.
Kier Group, up 5.1%, announced that its half-yearly revenues declined to £1.8b from £2b reported in the last year, while loss before tax narrowed to £41.2m from £45.3m. Net debt rose to £242m from £180.5m in 2018.
IQGeo Group, up 0.8%, announced today that its FY2019 revenues dropped 21.8% to £7.8m, while its loss before tax nearly quadrupled to £6.2m.
Berenberg Bank reaffirmed its “Buy” rating on Frontier Developments, up 0.2%.
Amino Technologies, unchanged at 127.5p, announced that its Annual General Meeting will be held on 2 April 2020.
1Spatial, down 3.7%, announced the addition of 1Data Gateway and 1Integrate v2.6 to its suite of geospatial data management offerings, forming a part of its strategy to cross-sell and increase the accessibility and applicability of 1Spatial solutions to current and potential customers.
Science Group, down 8.1%, announced that its FY2019 revenues advanced to £57.2m from £48.7m reported in 2018. The company reported a loss before tax of £1.6m, compared to a profit of £4.9m reported in the previous year. The board declared a final dividend of 4.6p per share.
UK markets finished significantly lower in the previous week, as a surge in the new coronavirus cases outside China fuelled concerns over its impact on global economy. On the data front, the UK house prices jumped to its highest level in 18 months in February, while the nation’s construction PMI advanced in the same month. On the contrary, the British manufacturing and services sector activities, both dropped in February. The FTSE 100 index declined 1.8% to settle at 6462.6, while the FTSE AIM 100 index fell 0.8% to close at 4343. Meanwhile, the FTSE techMARK 100 index lost 1.6% to end at 5395.8.
US markets ended higher in the last week, after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) slashed its key interest rate by 0.5% to a target range of 1%-1.25%, amid intensifying concerns over coronavirus outbreak. In economic news, the US non-manufacturing PMI surprisingly advanced in February, while the nonfarm payrolls grew more than expected in the same month. Moreover, the US unemployment rate dropped to a more than 50-year low in February. The DJIA index rose 1.8% to end at 25864.8, while the NASDAQ index gained 0.1% to close at 8575.6.
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