Cambridge Index rises 1.3%

The Cambridge Index advanced by 198.99 points or 1.3% to close at 15,742.8, as six out of the top ten index heavyweights posted weekly gains to their share price.

Kirly Group Cambridge Index

DS Smith, up 1.7%, announced the investment of £48m ($60.8m) in a new fibre preparation line (F-line) at their Kemsley paper mill.

Kier Group, up 5.7%, announced that it has achieved the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Green Economy Mark and received verification from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its emissions reduction targets, including the commitment to reach net-zero across the value chain by 2045.

Tristel, up 6.7%, in its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2023, announced that revenues rose to £20.9m from £17.5m recorded in the same period of the previous year. The Board is recommending an interim dividend of 5.24p (2022: 2.62p) to be paid on 12 April 2024.

Oracle Power, unchanged at 0.02p, along with its joint venture company, Oracle Energy Limited (Oracle Energy), announced the launch of the requisite Geotechnical Study and Electrical Resistivity Survey (ERS) for the proposed renewable power plant on the project site in Jhimpir, in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. Oracle Energy has appointed F&M (Pvt.) Limited (F&M), a reputable provider of engineering, testing, and verification services, to conduct the Geotechnical Study and ERS. The Geotechnical Study will encompass soil investigation and deploy rotary drilling to obtain disturbed and undisturbed samples, as well as core drilling to assess rock formations on the site. Moreover, the Electrical Resistivity Survey would determine lithology, porosity and permeability from boreholes drilled.

Quartix Technologies, down 4.5%, today, in its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2023, announced that revenues rose to £29.9m from £27.5m recorded in the previous year. Loss before tax stood at £1.1m compared to a profit of £5.5m. The company has proposed to pay a final dividend of 1.50p per share with no supplementary dividend (2022: 3.85p), payable on 29 April 2024 to shareholders, subject to approval at the forthcoming AGM.

UK markets ended lower last week, amid strength in the British Pound. On the data front, UK’s manufacturing PMI rose to a 10-month high in February, while the nation’s BRC shop price index advanced in January. Additionally, UK’s Nationwide housing prices advanced more than expected in February, while the nation’s mortgage approvals climbed to a 15-month high in January. The FTSE 100 index declined 0.3% to settle at 7,682.5, while the FTSE AIM 100 index fell 1.1% to close at 3,591.4. Also, the FTSE techMARK 100 index lost 1.6% to end at 6,806.9.

US markets ended mixed in the previous week, as dismal US economic data were offset by the dovish remarks from the US Federal Reserve officials for rate cuts. On the macro front, the US annualised gross domestic product grew less than expected in 4Q23. Additionally, the US ISM manufacturing PMI unexpectedly fell in February, while the nation’s durable goods orders dropped more than anticipated in January. Also, the US Richmond Fed manufacturing index unexpectedly fell in February, while the nation’s Chicago PMI declined to its lowest level since July in February. Moreover, the US consumer confidence dropped for the first time in four months in February, while the nation’s Michigan consumer sentiment index unexpectedly fell in February. Also, the US weekly jobless claims rose more than expected in the week ended 23 February 2024. Furthermore, the US new home sales rose less than expected in January, while the nation’s pending home sales fell sharply in January, amid higher mortgage rates. Meanwhile, the US personal income advanced more than anticipated in January, while the nation’s personal spending rose as expected in January. Also, the US Dallas Fed manufacturing business index improved in February. The DJIA index fell 0.1% to end at 39,087.4, while the NASDAQ index gained 1.7% to close at 16,274.9.

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