Cambridge Index rises 1.6%

24/03/2010

Global equity markets enjoyed another positive week, as recent decisions by US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and Central Bank of Brazil signalled further loosening of monetary policies and abundant liquidity. The Cambridge Index climbed 1.6% or 113.9 points to 7,020.9.

Index heavyweights, Autonomy, Johnson Matthey and Aveva Group, gained between 0.6% and 5.6%. Autonomy rose 5.6%, as Panmure Gordon reiterated a “Buy” rating on the stock, after the company introduced a new analytics application. However, ARM Holdings and CSR, down 0.9% and 2.8% respectively, were affected by downgrades from UBS.

Xaar jumped 18.1% and emerged as the top gainer in the Cambridge Index, after the company announced that its full-year revenues rose to £42.1 million from £42.0 million and adjusted profit before tax stood at £2.6 million, compared to £2.8 million recorded in the previous year.

 230310_Cambridge Index and FTSE AIM 100 movement

Domino Printing Sciences climbed 9.2%, after the company announced that its sales revenues for the first four months ended February 2010 rose 19%, from the previous year. Other noticeable gainers were Sagentia Group and Amino Technologies, up 6.5% and 4.8% respectively.

Vernalis added 1.7%, after the company announced the achievement of a $3 million milestone under the company's collaboration with Novartis on the oncology target Hsp90. Brady rose 2.3%, after the company announced that it has acquired the commodities business of Viveo Switzerland SA, a Geneva based company and part of Temenos, in a deal worth approximately £2.30 million.

GeneMedix plunged 13.3%, emerging as the top loser in the Cambridge Index for the second consecutive week. Sareum Holdings, down 8.1%, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Physiomics, which would provide silico simulations to support Sareum’s cancer drug joint research programme. Netcall declined 4.5%, after the company announced that its first half revenues dropped 7.7% to £1.9 million and profit before tax declined 76.7% to £0.1 million. Other prominent losers included LPA Group, Cyan Holdings and Phytopharm, all down between 4.4% and 9.7%.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 Index advanced 0.4% over the week to close at 5,650.1, its highest level in 21 months. Gains in the benchmark index were supported by banking stocks which staged a broad rally after a bullish statement from Lloyds Banking Group renewed investor confidence. Adding to the positive sentiment, UK jobless claims fell unexpectedly in February at the fastest pace since 1997. Additionally, minutes of the recent Bank of England meeting revealed that policy makers voted unanimously to keep the interest rates unchanged for the second consecutive month. The FTSE techMARK 100 Index rose 0.6% to 1,875.7, while the FTSE AIM 100 Index edged up 1.8% to 3,221.2.

Although Moody’s warned that the US may lose its AAA rating, markets in that country finished higher for the week. Prospects of more liquidity at cheap rates buoyed sentiment, after the Federal Reserve reiterated it would keep its key interest rate low for an extended period. Investors heaved a sigh of relief, as fears over a likely acceleration in inflation subsided, after the US Producer Price Index fell 0.6% in February, the biggest monthly drop since July 2009. Sentiment among investors was also buoyed, after March manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region reported higher-than-expected results and Senate approved a $17.6 billion jobs bill. The Dow Jones Index gained 1.1% to 10,742.0, while the Nasdaq Index rose 0.3% to 2,374.4.

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