Market Report: Apple's iPad puts ARM under the spotlight

The semiconductors group ARM was in focus last night, with traders buying in amid optimism about Apple's latest offering.

The stock was marked up by 5.4p to 246.3p after ARM and Germany's Infineon emerged as the main suppliers for the iPad, which got off to a flying start on Saturday. The Californian tech giant said it had shifted more than 300,000 units on the day of the launch, driving hopes of royalties for ARM. On RBS's numbers, the company stands to collect about 35 cents per iPad. The 3G device, which will be out soon to supplement the Wi-Fi version, is slated to bring in about 45 cents per unit. "We currently assume that 16 million ARM-based internet tablets and electronic readers will ship this year, growing to 23 million next year," RBS said, sticking to its "hold" view and 245p target price for the stock.

Overall, sentiment was strong as dealers returned from the long Easter weekend, with the FTSE 100 firming up by 35.46 points to 5780.35 and the FTSE 250 rising by 124.49 points to 10434.01. Besides the positive read-across from Friday's US unemployment report, the blue-chip index was driven up by commodity issues, which built on a renewal of recovery hopes.

Though initially nervous about the impact of Australia's decision to raise interest rates, traders bought in amid growing optimism about the prospect of continued growth in the world's biggest economies.

Notably, confirmation that Britain's general election will be held on 6 May had a muted effect, with Goldman Sachs strategists pointing out that, though this time there was a risk of a hung Parliament and the attendant uncertainty on the deficit reduction front, equities "had shown no clear pattern around elections since 1970". "1974 was the last time the UK had a minority government and that was unequivocally negative for equities," they said, noting that, while the economy was "in a much worse position then", UK stocks underperformed their American peers by more than 20 per cent in the month after the result.

The Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation was among the strongest of the miners, adding 41p to 1,266p as metals prices ticked up. Kazakhmys rose 48p to 1,630p and Rio Tinto gained 55.5p to close at 4,062p. Oil issues also found favour, with BP rising by 15p to 646.3p and BG gaining 18.5p to 1,185p. The exploration and production group Tullow Oil was 31p higher at 1,313p.

Also on the upside, the insurance group Admiral swung to a lifetime high of 1,403p before closing up 35p at 1,367p amid hopes of gains in market share. Traders pinned the hopes on a recent management meeting in the City, with investors reporting confidence in Admiral's strategy and its ability to steal a march on its rivals. In the wider insurance sector, Legal & General was 2p ahead at 90.75p, while Prudential added 8.5p to close at 577p.

The defence group BAE Systems missed out on last night's rally, retreating by 5p to 368.8p despite recent confirmation of Oman's interest in buying the Eurofighter aircraft, which is partly built by BAE, from the UK. A spike in the market's appetite for risk and some negative comment from Goldman Sachs were blamed for the weakness, with the broker saying that while the news may be positive, BAE was "still likely to underperform in 2010".

"We still believe BAE's earnings will peak in 2010 and then decline for a number of years," Goldman explained, reiterating its "conviction sell" view. "We are increasingly concerned by the outlook for defence spending in the US and UK (68 per cent of BAE's 2009 sales) and about deteriorating terms of trade in US defence."

Elsewhere, Panmure Gordon aided the engineering group Cookson, which rose by 13p to 586.5p after the broker switched its stance from "buy" to "hold" in an industrial engineering round-up. The broker was also positive about a host of Cookson's peers, including Bodycote, which gained 2.2p to 215p. Arguing that the "industrial bull market is switched on", the broker said the next step up for the sector had been "green-lighted" by the recent raft of positive manufacturing data.

"[The data] removes a major roadblock, raises visibility and helps to dissipate the risk of a secondary dip," Panmure explained. "It suggests renewed confidence, a return in export orders and a ramp up in industrial output. Following the six-year high in the US ISM manufacturing index, the standouts include a sharp improvement in export orders in Asia and the sharp uptick in PMI manufacturing data for the long depressed European heartland."

Panmure also boosted Asos, the online fashion retailer, which closed 21p higher at 538.5p after the broker revised its target price for the stock from 515p to 607p.

Weighing in ahead of the company's full-year trading update later this month, Panmure said its estimates anticipated 44 per cent compound growth in international revenues between 2009 and 2013.

"Our forecast is conservative, we think, in that it assumes a drop in the international revenue growth rate from 86 per cent in 2010 (current year ending March) to 38 per cent in 2011," Panmure explained, repeating its "buy" view on Asos shares.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
news
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Sport
SPORT
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick