Doubts on the stability of China’s economy resurfaced over the weekend, when data emerged showing investment, factory output and retail sales in the country grew slower than expected in April. This news had little effect on Asian markets, however, as stocks finished mostly up during Monday’s session. European markets spent the majority of the session in the red, but were later able to erase early losses to end the session trading in positive territory. Wall Street shrugged off this news though, as a fresh surge in oil prices helped lift stocks higher on Monday.
Gains in Europe came off the back of a rise in metal prices, with miners leading the charge north, after China’s central bank reassured markets it would continue to support economic growth.Shares of platinum producer Anglo American climbed 5.43% and iron ore heavyweight BHP Billiton picked up 2.09%. After a round of disappointing data releases over the weekend, the central bank sought to calm fears by pledging to continue its accommodative monetary policy.
Oil prices enjoyed a day in the greenand fuelled gains in energy shares. Brent crude traded above $49 a barrel after Goldman Sachs said the oversupplied oil market has likely shifted to a deficit and lifted its price forecast for the year. This news was music to the ears of oil producers. Tullow Oil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell all enjoyed gains of over 2%.
The pharmaceutical sector enjoyed a positive day thanks to news of a new acquisition. Drug giant Pfizer announced on Monday that it has come to an agreement to acquire Anacor Pharmaceuticals in an all-cash deal worth about $4.5 billion. This news sent Anacor shares up 54% during the trading session, to trade at $98.55. Pfizer’s shares also rose, to trade at $33.29.
Gannett Co, which owns USA Today and more than 100 other local news properties nationwide, said on Monday that it has raised its offer to buy Tribune Publishing for $15 per share to a proposed value of about $475 million. This offer comes two weeks after Tribune’s board rejected a lower bid of $12.25 per share. Shares of Tribune Publishing rose 23% in pre-market trading on Monday to $14.10. Shares in Gannett were also up 2%, trading at $15.94.
But the big news of the day came from Warren Buffett. The chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway has revealed a new $1 billion stake in technology giant Apple in the first quarter, a move that comes as the technology giant’s shares have been battered amid a slowdown in iPhone sales. The legendary investor’s firm reported owning 9.81 million Apple shares as of March 31, valued at roughly $1.07 billion.
BerkshireHathaway’s investment in Apple, which was the firm’s only new position taken in the quarter, follows the exits of other well-known investors, Carl Icahn and David Tepper, who both dumped their Apple holdings recently. Apple shares were up a healthy 3.46% during Monday’s session.
It remains to be seen how big of a hit the iPhone 7 will be, but there is no question that Apple’s sales are still huge, despite the apparent failure of the Apple Watch.
This article was issued by Rebecca Naudi, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd. has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.