Market Report: High-techs surge on hopes of a rush of deals


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The Independent Online

Technology and internet businesses are some of the most volatile around, and yesterday high-tech companies surged upwards on hopes of a rush of deals in the sector.

News that Italian online luxury retailer Yoox is in talks to buy Net-a-Porter had traders jamming the “buy” buttons on a host of other online companies, in case a wave of consolidation were to break out across the sector. The favourite to be next in line was Ocado, which jumped 28p to 359.4p. Rightmove also leapt 130p to 2,997p, Asos improved 181p to 3,662p and Just Eat climbed 15.8p to 436.8p.

London Stock Exchange tumbled last week after its largest shareholder cashed out. But the market operator jumped 63p to 2,476p yesterday as a new investor, BlackRock, took a 6.25 per cent chunk of the company.

The collapse of a deal may sound like a bad thing, but for B&Q owner Kingfisher news that talks to buy French DIY chain Mr Bricolage have ended helped spur the company 7p to 364.8p. Kingfisher’s growth in France has been subdued and investors are keen to hear it is not wading any deeper into stagnant waters. Anticipation ahead of annual results, due today, also helped.

At the other end of the table, BG Group slipped 21.3p to 852p, as Bank of Montreal trimmed its target price for the oil and gas explorer. Wm Morrison also lost 2.1p to 196.4p, a victim of Goldman Sachs’ pessimism. The investment bank reckons structural changes mean the entire grocery sector is unlikely to be standing tall any time soon.

The FTSE 100 climbed 36.41 points to 6,891.43.

Abu Dhabi healthcare business Al Noor Hospitals fell 53p to 1,025p even though it reported a 23 per cent rise in revenue, an 18.3 per cent jump in underlying profit and a 32 per cent rise in the dividend.

Despite narrowing losses and an increase in reoccurring revenue, cloud-computing specialist Outsourcery slipped 4.5p to 26p on AIM. Boss and Dragons’ Den star Piers Linney blamed the fall on its small free float and also denied suggestions by Northland Partners that the company is likely to have to raise more cash.