Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CAT Provides Spark as Drugs Big Guns Suffer; MARKET REPORT

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CAT Provides Spark as Drugs Big Guns Suffer; MARKET REPORT

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL CLARK

THE drugs sector remains out of favour with City investors and shares of the big two producers were coming under the hammer again today.

GlaxoSmithKline fell 13p to 1186p after broker Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein downgraded the shares from buy to hold.

AstraZeneca was one of the biggest bluechip casualties, losing 40p at 2135p. Both companies suffered big falls in their stock market value last year, weighed down by litigation over patents and the apparent absence of new drugs coming onstream.

Instead investors appear to be turning their attention to the smaller drugs companies.

Several brokers have taken a shine to Cambridge Antibody Technology, up 131/4p at 600p.

Bank of America rates the shares and has raised its target price from 500p to 640p.

US securities house Lehman Brothers is also a fan, telling clients to be overweight in CAT while setting a target price of 760p. Elsewhere, dealers had been pinning their hopes on an opening rally in London on the back of a strong performance for the Dow overnight in New York, where traders continue to talk of economic revival. They were to be disappointed. In fact, share prices made heavy weather of it with the FTSE 100 dipping below 4000 with a loss of 5.1 at 3996.3 in another day of thin trading.

The stores sector had been expected to suffer fresh falls in the wake of worse-thanexpected retail sales in Germany. Instead, they managed to tick better in thin trading with Boots adding 11/2p to 5841/2p as it drew on yesterday's upgrade from broker Merrill Lynch. Next rallied 61/2p to 739p, while Dixons hardened 1/2p to 149p after announcing plans to sell Hutchison 3G's thirdgeneration mobile multimedia products.

Oil shares made a slow start following a further slide in the value of crude on world markets. …

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