Cambridge Index rises 2.0%
Global equity markets continued their upward momentum, drawing support from strong growth in Chinese exports and factory output, and a broad easing of concerns about sovereign defaults. The Cambridge Index rose 2.0% or 134.2 points to 6,907.0.
Confidence in the global economic recovery gained a further boost after US retail sales unexpectedly rose 0.3% in February and Eurozone industrial output climbed sharply in January.
The Cambridge Index rose 2.0% or 134.2 points to 6,907.0, as eight of the top 10 index heavyweights recorded weekly gains. Autonomy, Johnson Matthey and Aveva Group, all up between 3.6% and 7.3%, featured among the gainers.
Abcam jumped 7.0%, after announcing that its half year results were in line with market expectations. Revenues were up 37.7% to £31.8 million and profit before tax increased 64.7% to £11.2 million. However, ARM Holdings declined 2.4%, after Royal Bank of Scotland downgraded the stock to “Hold” from “Buy”.
ITM Power soared 15.1% and emerged as the top gainer in the Cambridge Index. The company announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ballast Nedam for the provision of hydrogen energy systems for the “Autarc” (autonomous floating office). DS Smith, up 8.5%, announced that company Director, Mr Steve Dryden, has acquired 38,504 ordinary shares of 10p each. The company added that Mr Dryden has sold 15,820 ordinary shares at a price of 125.4p each in order to pay the income tax, NIC, and dealing expenses.
Other noticeable gainers included Bango, Cyan Holdings and Netcall, all up between 8.1% and 14.7%. Brady added 3.9%, after announcing that its full-year revenues were up 32.3% to £8.2 million and profit before tax & exceptional items increased 20.0% to £1.2 million.
GeneMedix plunged 9.1% and emerged as the top loser in the Cambridge Index. Other prominent losers included Sepura, Dialight, ANT and Pursuit Dynamics, all down between 3.5% and 6.1%. Amino Technologies, down 1.6%, announced that Director, Mr Peter Murphy, has acquired 100,000 shares at 30.0p each. Tristel’s first-half revenues were up 28.0% to £4.0 million and profit before tax increased 39.9% to £0.7 million from £0.5 million.
Markets in the UK finished higher for the week, led by gains in mining and energy stocks, supported by a rise in base metal prices and better outlook for energy demand respectively. Mining stocks also benefitted from higher-than-expected rise in Chinese exports and imports in February, which increased hopes of higher demand for metals in the future.
Telecom stocks got a boost, helped by recent positive broker updates. The UK benchmark FTSE 100 Index gained 0.5% over the week to settle at 5,625.7. The FTSE techMARK 100 Index climbed 0.4% to 1,864.7, while the FTSE AIM 100 Index advanced 0.2% to 3,164.9.
Markets in the US recorded gains during the week, as renewed merger & acquisition activity, coupled with upbeat corporate updates and broker upgrades boosted investor sentiment. Among M&A news, AIG decided to sell its American Life Insurance unit to MetLife for about $15.5 billion, while Abbott Laboratories agreed to acquire Facet Biotech for a net transaction value of $450 million. Elsewhere, retail banks paced gains, amid speculation that one of them could be a potential target for Barclays’ plan to acquire a large US retail bank.
Citigroup led the banking sector higher after the group’s CEO stated that the bank was “well positioned to return to sustained profitability”. Easing regulation fears for banking and healthcare also added to the upside. The Dow Jones Index gained 0.6% to 10,624.7, while the Nasdaq Index rose 1.8% to 2,367.7.
View the report in full by downloading the document (below) or visit:
NW Brown offers bespoke wealth management and employee benefit services to individuals, corporate bodies and not-for-profit organisations.