Cambridge Index falls 1.0%

Renewed concerns about the Greek economy and opposition by the Bundesbank to the purchase of bonds by the European Central Bank, weighed on global equity markets last week. The Cambridge Index fell 1.0% or 111.5 points to 11,004.4, with all but one of the top ten index heavyweight stocks ending lower.

Phytopharm surged 20.5% to 7.8p and emerged as the top gainer in the index. Johnson Matthey, up 0.5%, benefited from higher platinum prices and a positive review by Deutsche Bank, which recommended the stock as a “Buy” and raised its target price to 2650p from 2450p.

Extending its robust run from the previous week, LPA Group put in another impressive performance, advancing 17.4%, after the company announced that it expects its annual results to significantly exceed forecasts, following a stronger-than-expected third quarter and a strong start to the final quarter.

Other notable gainers included Elektron Technology, Cyan Holdings and Sareum Holdings, all up between 4.1% and 7.1%.

Among those who ended the week lower, PDX fell 15.6%, after speculation about a possible share placing, despite the company reiterating that it has a number of strategies at its disposal to fund growth. Blinkx, down 11.8%, announced that it would hold its Annual General Meeting on 21 September 2012. ANT eased 11.1%, after cautioning that its full year revenue and profits would fall short of current market expectations. Bango, down 4.8%, announced that its CFO, Peter Saxton has exercised options over 236,327 ordinary shares of 20p each and sold a total of 386,701 ordinary shares at a price of 179.5p per share. Shares of ARM Holdings drifted back by 0.6% despite favourable broker reviews.

Vernalis, down 2.0%, announced that it has dosed the first subject in a receptor occupancy study with drug V81444 to demonstrate A2A activity in humans. The company stated that it expects to receive the outcome of the study by end of this year.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 index closed 1.3% lower, at 5,776.6, as Eurozone debt fears resurfaced, following the Bundesbank’s criticism of the ECB’s bond buying plan, and after Greece’s Prime Minister requested a two-year extension to fulfil bailout conditions. The FTSE techMARK 100 Index lost 1.2% to 2,372.2, while the FTSE AIM 100 Index dropped 0.3% to 3,068.4.

US markets ended lower last week, amid mounting worries that European leaders may fail to curb the region’s debt crisis. However, losses were capped after the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting revealed that many policy makers favour monetary easing. The Dow Jones Index fell 0.9% to 13,158.0, while the Nasdaq Index edged down 0.2% to 3,069.8.

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