LONDON (ShareCast) - The technology sector was the only category in the blue on Tuesday afternoon after a better-than-expected third quarter from chip designer ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) boosted buying.
The semiconductor intellectual property group said that total revenue in the three months to September 30th rose 20% in sterling terms from £120.2m to £144.6m, ahead of the consensus estimate of £140m.
Meanwhile, going into the final three months of the year, the company said that it enters the fourth quarter with a record order backlog and a robust opportunity pipeline.
Analysts at Investec (EUREX: INVF.EX - news) labelled the stock as a "stand-out tech play" this morning, keeping their 'buy' rating on the shares.
Tech stocks were also being given a lift by some positive read-across from corporate earnings Stateside, according to Michael Hewson, the senior market analyst from CMC Markets.
"The tech sector has been the only silver lining in town today helped by better than expected earnings announcements from Yahoo (EUREX: YHOF.EX - news) and Western Digital (NYSE: WDC - news) after the bell in the US last night. Rising expectations of an announcement from Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) about a new mini-iPad has also helped the sector as have better than expected results from chip maker ARM Holdings in Q3," Hewson said.
Heading the other way were personal goods stocks after a profit warning from retailer Mulberry weighed heavily on shares of Burberry.
AIM-listed handbag and accessories group Mulberry plunged after saying that full-year results would be below expectations. The company said that wholesale revenues fell in the first half due to tough comparatives and a "more challenging external environment in Asia".
Heavyweight constituent Burberry fell in sympathy.
Top performing sectors so far today
Technology Hardware & Equipment 818.67 +4.74%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Personal Goods 17,962.76 -2.81%
Industrial Engineering 7,378.40 -2.46%
Automobiles (Euronext: SAU.NX - news) & Parts 4,793.03 -2.38%
Mining (Euronext: SMI.NX - news) 18,647.13 -2.37%
Chemicals (Euronext: SCH.NX - news) 8,261.96 -2.35%