Cambridge Index rises 1.6%

The Cambridge Index gained 1.6% or 277.58 points, to end the week at 17,565.3, as share prices rose for seven of the top ten index heavyweights.

Credit Suisse reaffirmed its “Outperform” rating on the shares of ARM Holdings, up 4.2% and with a current price target of 1,050p.

Kier Group rose 0.7%. The construction company announced that it would promote Finance Director, Haydn Mursell, as its next CEO, after Paul Sheffield steps down, effective 01 July 2014. However DS Smith fell 2.3% on the back of mixed broker reviews. Investec reiterated its “Buy” rating on the international paper company’s shares and kept its price target unchanged at 400p. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to a “Sell” with a current price target of 274p.

Quixant rose 25.5% from 119.5p to 150p as Numis Securities initiated coverage on its stock with a “Buy” rating and a price target of 190p.

Frontier Developments, up 5.2%, announced that it has signed two development agreements with a new publishing partner for a combined value of £3.75m. UBS AG initiated coverage on Xaar, up 5.2%, and issued a “Neutral” rating along with a price target of 1,150p.

Blinkx fell 13.1%, despite Citigroup reaffirming its “Buy” rating on the stock with a current price target of 245p. Shares in Netcall fell 2.7% despite a positive trading update. The business process solutions provider announced its first half results and stated that it has continued to trade comfortably in line with management expectations throughout the first half of the year, witnessing a strong sales momentum and double digit percentage growth in orders from new and existing customers. Gaming Realms fell 1.1%, after reporting a pre-tax loss of £3.3m in its maiden results for the four months ended 30 September 2013 mainly due to marketing spend of £1.75m coupled with set-up costs.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 index advanced 2.6%, to 6,838.1, as UK house prices climbed in February and after the Bank of England (BoE), in its minutes, stated that the policymakers unanimously voted to maintain the current monetary stance, ruling out an immediate increase in the base interest rate. The FTSE techMARK 100 Index climbed 1.8% to 3,290.9, and the FTSE AIM 100 Index gained 0.5%, to 4,014.4.

US markets ended the week on a mixed tone as an unexpected improvement in the US manufacturing sector and a pickup in merger & acquisition activities offset dismal US housing data and hawkish comments from the FOMC minutes. The DJIA index fell 0.3%, to close at 16,103.3. The NASDAQ index rose 0.5%, to settle at 4,263.4.

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