Market Report: Imagination gains from Apple move

Microchip makers piggybacked on a rally at Apple yesterday sparked by Carl Icahn, the veteran US investor, taking a stake the iPhone maker. Apple shares hit a six-month high after Mr Icahn revealed on Twitter that he is pushing for a larger buyback at the US tech giant after he built up a large position in Apple and held talks with its chief executive, Tim Cook.

Arm Holdings and Imagination Technologies, whose microchips are used in Apple devices, benefited from the rally after a bumpy recent run for both companies. Arm added 5.5p to 897p while Imagination sparked up 37.5p to 286p.

Aviva was among the day's biggest risers on the top-flight index after an upbeat note from Goldman Sachs. Scribblers at the bank said the insurer's interim results last week were "comfortably ahead of our estimates", and were impressed by the progress of restructuring plans. Goldman kept a neutral rating but raised its 12-month price target to 405p from 390p. Canaccord was also bullish on Aviva, lifting it from hold to buy and upping its target price from 385p to 460p. Aviva's shares rose 6.2p to 404.9p.

The asset manager Schroders benefited from a positive note from Morgan Stanley, as Bruce Hamilton at the broker upgraded his target price from 2,525p to 2,650p. Schroders moved up 24p to 2,450p.

There was strong interest in the state-backed banks Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland. The pair were near the top of the benchmark index, with heavy volumes for both. This was despite a note from JPMorgan calling for a strategic review at RBS, and adding that "none of the options create enough upside for us to turn positive ahead of the 'bad bank' review". RBS added 11.7p to 344.7p while Lloyds banked 1.36p to 77.14p.

After a torrid month in China, GlaxoSmithKline finally had some good news as JPMorgan upgraded the pharmaceuticals giant to neutral, saying it sees strong potential in three pipeline drugs. Glaxo jumped 1.5p to 1681.5p.

The FTSE 100 was largely flat yesterday, down 24.51 points at 6,611.94, as miners took a battering. Troubled Kazakh digger ENRC tumbled to the bottom of the index after a steeper-than-expected 17 per cent fall in first-half profits. It lost 7.2p to 229.3p. Rio Tinto dropped 69.5p to 3193.5p while Anglo American drilled down 27.5p to 1545p. The platinum miner Lonmin yesterday signed a deal with unions in South Africa, hoping to end friction with its workforce. The agreement comes almost a year after 34 workers were killed by police at Lon-min's Marikana plant, where another worker was shot this week. Lonmin was up 1.1p at 353.4p.

The property group Countrywide wobbled as news emerged that two major investors, the private equity firms Apollo and Oaktree, had between them sold a 16 per cent share of the company, six months after it returned to the stock market after a six-year absence.

The firms pocketed an estimated £210m between them – with shares around the 600p mark, up from the 350p March float price – although exact figures were not revealed. Jim Clarke, the chief financial officer, was upbeat on the sale, saying: "A lot of people were trying to buy the shares. The sale creates liquidity and allows them to crystallise a profit."

But investors took a different view, and the FTSE 250 company lost 27p to 570p.

The shock announcement of the US Justice Department's attempt to block the $14bn mega-merger of American Airlines and US Airways could have knock-on effects for British Airways owner IAG, according to Deutsche Bank. IAG has a lucrative transatlantic joint venture with American Airlines, and had hoped the carrier's merger would see more traffic for the venture, a prospect that now looks at risk.

Despite this, scribblers at Deutsche Bank kept their buy rating on IAG while Nomura upped its target price from 283p to 335p. Macquarie raised its rating of the group to outperform, noting progress with restructuring its Spanish carrier Iberia. After early gains, IAG tumbled 4.6p to 316p.

EasyJet lost 34p to 1310p after news emerged that one of its flights from Milan to Lisbon was forced to make an emergency landing when an engine cover came adrift during take-off.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent