Cambridge Index falls 2.4%

29/01/2019

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The Cambridge Index declined 571.6 points or 2.4% to close at 23176.6, as four of the top five Index heavyweights posted weekly losses to their share prices.

DS Smith, down 5%, announced that its recently acquired firm, Europac, will delist from the Spanish stock exchanges by February end, after it receives the compulsory acquisition of the remaining 1.17% stake.

Abcam, up 0.2%, announced the acquisition of Calico Biolabs with a view to widen its custom rabbit monoclonal production capabilities and strengthen customer relationships.

Horizon Discovery Group, up 4.6%, announced a strategic partnership agreement with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA, for the further enhancement and commercialisation of its gene editing technology, base editing.

LPA Group, up 3.5%, announced that its annual revenues advanced to £28m from £22.5m in the previous year. Also, its profit before tax marginally rose to £2m from £1.9m in the last year. However, the basic earnings per share slightly eased to 14.3p from 14.4p in the prior year. The company’s Board proposed a final dividend of 1.8p per share.

Kier Group, up 1.6%, in its trading update, announced that the Board anticipates the Group to meet its targets for the financial year ending 30 June 2019. Separately, the company announced the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer, Haydn Mursell, from the Board with immediate effect. As a result, the company’s Chairman, Philip Cox, will act as an Executive Chairman, and will run the Group’s operations along with Finance Director, Bev Dew, and the Chief Operating Officer, Claudio Veritiero. The stock received mostly positive reviews from various brokers.

Science Group, down 1.9%, announced the completion of its strategic review, in which it concluded that the prime use of the company’s capital resources must be to raise the scale of the Group through acquisitions and organic investments. Hence, it will continue its search for investment opportunities and acquisitions, especially in the UK, North America and Europe region. Meanwhile, the company stated that trading to the end of December 2018 was in line with the Board's expectations. 

Sareum Holdings, down 4.3%, announced that Sierra Oncology’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Christian Hassig, will give a presentation on "Addressing Intrinsic & Acquired PARP Inhibitor (PARPi) Resistance Through Chk1 Inhibition" at the DNA Damage Response (DDR) Therapeutics Summit in Boston, USA on 30 January 2019.

Quixant, down 18.7%, in its trading update for the year ended 31 December 2018, announced that it expects to report Group revenues of around $115m, which is below the current market estimates of $120m, amid a decline in revenue from gaming monitors. As a result, the adjust profit before tax for 2018 will also be lower than market expectations of nearly $19m. Peel Hunt restated its “Buy” rating on the stock. FinnCap reconfirmed its “Corporate” rating on the stock. Canaccord Genuity reiterated its “Buy” rating on the stock.

UK markets ended in the red last week, weighed down by losses in commodity and banking sector stocks. In economic news, the UK mortgage approvals eased to its lowest level in 7 months in December, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in the September-November 2018. The FTSE 100 index declined 2.3% to settle at 6809.2, while the FTSE AIM 100 index fell 0.3% to close at 4708.2. Meanwhile, the FTSE techMARK 100 index lost 1% to end at 4532.7.

US markets closed higher in the previous week, as upbeat earnings report from major companies lifted the market sentiment. On the data front, the US manufacturing PMI unexpectedly rose in January, whereas the housing price index advanced more than anticipated in November. Additionally, the US initial jobless claims surprisingly slid to an almost 50-year low level for the week ended 19 January 2019. On the other hand, the nation’s existing home sales fell to a 3-year low level in December. The DJIA index rose 0.1% to end at 24737.2, while the NASDAQ index gained 0.1% to close at 7164.9.

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