Market Report: Arm Holdings tops blue-chip index


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The Independent Online

It was a case of chips with everything for traders yesterday as microchip designer Arm Holdings topped the blue-chip index.

The Cambridge-based technology company jumped 32p to 1,069p as it unveiled a new suite of chips designed for smartphones and tablets. The centrepiece, the Cortex A72, will provide 50 times the computing power of a phone built just five years ago. It came as smartphone sales figures revealed that Apple’s iPhone, which uses plenty of Arm kit, overtook sales of Android phones in the US for the first time in three years. Racier corners of the market were also pushing rumours that Apple could swallow Arm whole to prevent rivals getting hold of its new tech.

The Footsie had threatened to break records in the previous session but pulled back yesterday as oil prices dipped. The FTSE 100 closed down 11.78 points at 6,860.02.

Hargreaves Lansdown slumped 79p to 966p after profits disappointed and Tullow Oil dropped 21.5p to 395.9p as Morgan Stanley trimmed its target price for the oil explorer and producer.

ITV improved 8.1p to 230.6p as Credit Suisse tipped the broadcaster to have better-than-expected advertising growth amid a general rebound.

The former chairman of the coal miner Asia Resource Minerals, formerly known as Bumi, has failed in his attempted boardroom coup. Shareholders voted down Samin Tan’s proposals to unseat the board and replace them with candidates of his choice. Financier Nat Rothschild, who helped create Bumi, tweeted that he was “happy” with the decision. Asia Resource Minerals dipped 0.62p to 14.62p.

Is Rexam in play? A rumour surfaced yesterday that US private equity could be interested in a punt for the can maker. Rexam rose 8.7p to 447.6p.

Despite a dire end to 2014 for oil prices, US explorer and producer Nostra Terra enjoyed a record end to the year with a 68 per cent jump in production and a 20 per cent rise in revenue. It said current projects were still economical but warned that rig operators were unwilling to commit given low oil prices. Nostra Terra climbed 0.01p to 0.17p.