Market Report: The City has technology on its mind

 

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With the world’s biggest gadget show, CES, in full swing in Las Vegas, it’s perhaps no surprise that City scribblers have technology on their minds.

Morgan Stanley has raised its target price for Arm Technologies, the Cambridge-based microchip-maker whose technology is found in most smartphones and tablets. The bank isn’t predicting a fresh boom in gadgets, but thinks a more favourable dollar exchange rate will boost the company.

All of Arm’s revenue is in dollars, while half of its costs are in sterling. A cheaper pound means its UK costs should make a smaller dent on the balance sheet. The bank’s hypothesis came as Arm boss Simon Segars said he sees big potential for the trend of putting microchips in everything from dishwashers to fridges. Arm jumped 33.5p to 977p.

The Footsie surged 53.32 points to 6,419.83 thanks to a late rally, with traders hoping that the onset of deflation in the eurozone will provoke stimulus measures from the European Central Bank.

With oil still floundering investors turned to utility companies: United Utilities climbed 29p to 929p, National Grid improved 20.7p to 917.5p and Severn Trent rose 45p to 2,021p.

Temporary power provider Aggreko trotted out a modest profit upgrade thanks to new contracts, a contract extension and a debt settlement in Argentina. It climbed 43p to 1,481p.

A 30 per cent profit upgrade put out late in the previous session helped engineer Renishaw to a second day of strong gains, rising 267p to 2,326p. UBS said the business is “firing on all cylinders”.

Electronics company Acal improved 6.12p to 235p after snapping up a Norwegian fibre optic company for £10.1m.

News that hedge fund Toscafund has taken a 5.4 per cent stake in Quindell sent the company surging 16p to 70p.

JKX Oil & Gas has finally thrown in the towel on Ukraine, blaming “the combination of Ukrainian government-imposed restrictions on selling its gas to industrial clients and the punitive rate of gas production tax”. JKX fell 0.62p to 12.25p.

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