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Market Report: Taking Stock

ASW, the steel group, is either staging a dramatic recovery or is being stalked by a bidder. Shares of the loss maker rose 2p to 51.5p; they have climbed from 21p in the summer. Last year the company had sales of pounds 531m and lost pounds 51,7m. The French Usinor Sacilor group has 12 per cent.

Lynx, the acquisitive computer group, held at 100.5p. Stockbroker Greig Middleton says its results should begin to reflect the integration of recent years and lifted its profits forecast to pounds 9.6m for the year just ended and pounds 11.95m for the current year.

Barlows, the property group which paid pounds 43.6m for Rowlinson earlier this year, held at 55p. Stockbroker Sutherlands is looking for 12-month profits of pounds 1.75m against pounds 1.2m.