The last week was one with split trends in the UK financial markets with the FTSE rising by some 40 points to close at 5,910 points and the AIM All Share closing a few points down at 689. Interest rates in the UK stayed at 0.5 per cent though no further QE stimulus was announced. UK manufacturing output saw a 1.3 per cent fall in the month of September, whilst on the other side of the pond, US “fiscal cliff” talks came to something of a standstill. Asia has also seen some weak economic data, with Japanese data suggesting recession with a shrinking in the economy by 0.9 per cent on the July-September quarter, and Chinese exports were weaker than expected with growth coming in at 2.9 per cent versus the 9 per cent expected by analysts. The week ahead sees UK jobs figures, UK construction output numbers and US Federal Reserve policy announcements all being made.  

 Advanced Computer Software (LON:ASW) , the provider of healthcare and business management software and services, has agreed to acquire Serco Learning, an education software provider, for a total cash consideration of £7.25m, payable £6.25m to Serco Group and £1m to iGate for the novation of a material services contract. Completion is expected on 31 December 2012. Serco Learning provides solutions to over 2,000 local authorities, academies, independent schools and higher and further education providers, and will be integrated into the Company’s Advanced Business Solutions division, which already has 49 university college customers taking its back-office and student records solutions. In the year ended December 2011, Serco Learning had revenue of circa £13.5m, generating approximately £1.2m of adjusted EBITDA.  

African Copper (LON:ACU)   announced results for the 6 months to 30 September 2012, which saw an 18 per cent increase in revenues to $27.2m from $23.1m in the corresponding period in the last year, with operating income from mining operations of $4.3 m, compared to an operating loss of $4.3m for the corresponding period last year. The loss for the period decreased by 44 per cent to $9.0m, compared to $16m for the corresponding period last year. Copper produced in concentrate during the six-month period increased by 29 per cent compared to the same period last year, and by 31 per cent compared to the six-month period…

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