Cambridge Index advances 1.1%

The Cambridge Index rose 211.99 points or 1.1% to close at 19,360.4, as six out of the top ten index heavyweights posted weekly gains in their share price.

Kirly Group Cambridge Index

DS Smith, up 0.4%, announced the investment of €6m ($6.43m) in new production machinery at its La Chevrolière packaging facility in France to address the growing customer demand for corrugated cardboard in the region. The investment includes a Bobst Mastercut 2.1 die-cutting machine and a dedicated 2,500m² workshop for the production of Kaypal cardboard pallets. The new workshop boasts a capacity of 250,000 units and has the potential to produce up to 1.5m pallets annually. 

Frontier Developments, up 9.2%, in its FY24 trading update, stated that its expectations for the financial performance in the current financial year have been improved following the excellent reception to Planet Zoo's arrival on console and a good ongoing performance from its other CMS titles. The board currently expects FY24 revenues of at least £85m. However, the board anticipates an adjusted EBITDA loss for FY24 of £5m or better. The board expects to provide a further update on the outturn for the financial year in June 2024. Separately, the company announced that it has secured a licence with Universal Products & Experiences for a third Jurassic World game. It is scheduled for release in Frontier's financial year 2026 (FY26), between 01 June 2025 and 31 May 2026.

Aferian, unchanged at 7.4p, announced that its AGM would be held at the offices of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, Governors House, 5 Laurence Pountney Hill, London, EC4R 0BR on 30 May 2024, at 9.00 a.m.

Oracle Power, unchanged at 0.03p, announced the launch of the Grid Interconnection Study for its proposed 1.3GW renewable power plant in Jhimpir, Sindh Province, Pakistan.

Oracle Energy, in collaboration with its joint development partner, China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co., Ltd. (CET), a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China (State Grid China), has engaged Power Planners International (Pvt.) Ltd (PPI) to undertake the Study.

UK markets ended higher last week, following the Bank of England's (BoE) dovish monetary stance and upbeat Britain’s GDP data.  On the data front, UK’s gross domestic product grew more than anticipated in 1Q24, ending the shallow recession it entered in the second half of 2023. Additionally, UK’s industrial production unexpectedly rose in March, while the nation’s manufacturing production unexpectedly advanced in March. Also, UK’s construction PMI climbed at its fastest pace in more than a year in April. Meanwhile, UK’s Halifax house prices rose less than expected in April, while the nation’s RICS housing price balance index unexpectedly fell in April. Moreover, UK’s BRC like-for-like retail sales unexpectedly dropped in April. Separately, the Bank of England (BoE) left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 5.25% and hinted that it could cut rates as soon as its next meeting in June. The FTSE 100 index advanced 2.7% to settle at 8,433.8, while the FTSE AIM 100 index rose 2.5% to close at 3,819.6. Also, the FTSE techMARK 100 index gained 1.7% to end at 7,003.3.

US markets ended higher in the previous week, amid renewed hopes of rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve (Fed). On the macro front, the US MBA mortgage applications rose in the week ended 03 May 2024. Meanwhile, the US weekly jobless claims climbed to its highest level since August in the week ended 03 May 2024, while the nation’s Michigan consumer sentiment index dropped to a six-month low in May. The DJIA index rose 2.2% to end at 39,512.8, while the NASDAQ index gained 1.1% to close at 16,340.9.

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