Cambridge Index drops 1.9%

26/12/2018

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The Cambridge Index declined 393.4 points or 1.9% to close at 20,781.7, as eight of the top ten Index heavyweights posted weekly losses to their share prices.

Peel Hunt trimmed its target price on Quixant, up 1.5%, to 500p from 600p and gave a “Buy” rating.

Brady, unchanged at 64.3p, announced that it has appointed Carmen Carey as its new Chief Executive Officer with effect from 18 February 2019. Also, Ian Jenks has stepped down as its Executive Chairman to become a Non-Executive Chairman with effect from 01 April 2019.

Horizon Discovery Group, down 1.5%, announced that it has signed an exclusive target discovery partnership contract with C4X Discovery Holdings for validating targets and developing next-generation oncology drugs. Peel Hunt reconfirmed its “Hold” rating on the stock.

Ubisense Group, down 2.2%, announced that it has received approval from the German Federal Cartel Office for the conditional sale of its RTLS SmartSpace business and renaming of the group to IQGeo Group.

Scientific Digital Imaging, down 3.5%, announced in its interim results for the six months ended 31 October 2018, that revenues advanced by 23% to £8.1m from £6.6m, while profit before tax rose to £1.2m from £0.8m.

Kier Group, down 3.9%, announced that its proposed rights issue of 64.5m new shares received valid acceptances of 24.3m shares from the shareholders. Hence, 28.1m new shares will be subscribed by its joint bookrunners, while sub-underwriters will be subscribing for the remaining 12.1m new shares. Separately, the company announced the successful disposal of its stake in KHSA Limited to Downer Group for A$43.7m. Peel Hunt slashed its target price on the stock to 900p from 1600p and gave a “Buy” rating.

Elektron Technology, down 5.4%, announced the resignation of Peter Welch as the Non-Executive Director with effect from 31 January 2019. Further, it re-appointed Mr Richard John Piper as the Non-Executive Director with immediate effect.

Cambridge Cognition Holdings, down 17.4%, announced in its trading update for the year ending 31 December 2018, that due to its adoption of new financial standard IFRS15 for FY2018, it expects revenue to fall to £6m from £6.7m in FY2017 and total sales order intake to rise to £7.6m from £5.1m. As a result of lower reported revenue, the company expects annual loss to widen to £1.5m from £0.3m in FY2017.

UK markets finished lower last week, amid losses in commodity and financial sector stocks. The Bank of England, in its latest monetary policy meeting, kept its key interest rates unchanged at 0.75%. However, the central bank trimmed the country’s economic growth forecast to 0.2% from 0.3%, citing Brexit uncertainties. British annual house price growth dropped to a 5-year low in October, while the nation’s annual inflation rose at its slowest pace in 20 months in November. Also, the UK consumer confidence fell to a more than 5-year low in December. The FTSE 100 index declined 1.8% to settle at 6721.2, while the FTSE AIM 100 index fell 5.1% to close at 4368.3. Meanwhile, the FTSE techMARK 100 index lost 2% to end at 4298.7.

US markets ended significantly lower in the previous week, after the US Federal Reserve, at its December meeting, raised its benchmark interest rates by 0.25%. The US manufacturing PMI slumped to a 19-month low in December, while the nation’s housing market index unexpectedly eased to a 3-year low in the same month. Additionally, the nation’s manufacturing index unexpectedly eased in December. The US existing home sales unexpectedly climbed in November, while the nation’s building permits surprisingly rose to a 7-month high in the same month. The DJIA index dropped 6.9% to end at 22445.4, while the NASDAQ index sank 8.4% to close at 6333.

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