Cambridge Index rises 1.2%
Global equity markets declined during the week ending the month of January on a disappointing note, as worries over possible withdrawal of stimulus measures by various countries affected sentiment and surging Greek bond yields triggered a flight from riskier assets. The Cambridge Index rose 1.2% or 70.1 points to 6,153.3.
The index comfortably outperformed the broader US and UK markets. Six of the top eight index heavyweights ended in the black.
ARM Holdings rose 2.6%, as Goldman Sachs predicted that the launch of Apple’s new gadget would be “positive” for the company’s chip sales. Greene King gained 4.8%, after the company announced that its retail like-for-like sales have climbed 4.3% in the 38 weeks ended 24 January 2010.
Aveva Group rose 4.7%, after the company announced that its performance has been satisfactory since November 2009. Johnson Matthey, however, slid 3.4%, despite a positive trading update by the company.
GeneMedix surged 20.0%, becoming the highest riser in the Cambridge Index. ANT rose 6.8%, after the company announced that it expects its full-year results to be in line with market expectations, taking into account exchange rate movements. The company stated its pre-tax loss is expected to be better than expected and would narrow to roughly £0.7 million from £1.0 million in 2008. CSR added 6.7%, as UBS upgraded the stock to “Buy” from “Neutral”.
Sepura gained 5.2%, after the company announced that its current trading is in line with market expectations and the full-year earnings outlook remains unchanged.
LPA Group plunged 11.6%, emerging as the top loser in the Cambridge Index, after the company announced that its full-year turnover fell 9.1% to £13.7 million and profit before taxation declined 51.0% to £187,000. ITM Power, down 6.3%, announced that it has appointed Barry Cunliffe as its Chief Financial Officer with immediate effect. Other prominent losers were Netcall, DS Smith and Kier Group, all down between 3.7% and 5.2%.
The UK indices displayed a mixed performance during the week, as positive economic data from the US and the UK was subdued by losses in mining and banking sector. On the economic front, UK house prices jumped by the most in five months, while consumer confidence recorded its first rise in three months in January. However, UK high street sales fell at their sharpest annual rate for five months in January.
The mining sector came under pressure, amid concerns over weak demand due to the tighter monetary policy in China. The banking sector also suffered losses, after Standard and Poor’s warned that the UK no longer possesses the most stable and low-risk banking systems. The benchmark FTSE 100 index eased 2.2% to 5,188.5, while the FTSE AIM 100 Index declined 2.0% to 3,004.8. However, the FTSE techMARK 100 Index rose 0.3% to 1,733.5.
Even as the US economy expanded 5.7% in the fourth quarter, markets in the US finished lower during the week, discouraged by disappointing outlooks from a spate of technology companies. Shares of Qualcomm tumbled, as the company cut its profit and sales forecast for the current quarter, while Motorola slumped, after predicting a first-quarter loss.
Microsoft lost values, after warning that it has yet to witness a recovery in spending on enterprise software. Adding to the negative sentiment, sales of existing US homes fell at a record pace in December, while durable goods orders data for December raised fears over the sluggish pace of industrial production. The Dow Jones Index fell 1.0% to 10,067.3, while the Nasdaq Index declined 2.6% to 2,147.4.
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