The Malta Independent 16 December 2017, Saturday

Markets close lower

Wednesday, 6 December 2017, 11:57 Last update: about 9 days ago

U.S. stock-market indexes closed lower Tuesday, driven by losses in utilities, telecoms and industrials sectors. An earlier rebound in the technology sector fizzled out, sending the Nasdaq Composite into negative territory, reversing solid gains in the morning. Analysts were not surprised by the pause in growth of even a potential pullback after the stellar performances of global indexes throughout the year.

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European shares followed their Asian counterparts lower as investors continued to lock in gains in the year’s better performing assets amid a broad risk-off mood. The dollar steadied and Treasuries climbed as focus turns to efforts to avert a U.S. government shutdown on Saturday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped a second day as technology and basic resource shares led the decline. In Asia, Japanese equities fell sharply as the yen rose, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped.

Steinhoff International share crash

Owner of British retailer Poundland, Steinhoff International has seen its shares fall 60% after it said it would launcha probe into accounting irregularities. Its South African shares hit a seven-year low of 17.56 rand (97p) on the Johannesburg securities exchange. Shares in the firm, which own 40 local brands in more than 30 countries, later recovered to 22 rand, still down 52%.

The moves came as chief executive Markus Jooste resigned and the South African group postponed its full-year results. Its brands include Bensons for Beds and Harveys in the UK, Conforama in Europe, Pep and Ackermans in South Africa and Snooze in Australia. Steinhoff derives about 60% of its earnings in Europe and 34% in Africa. As well as furniture and homeware, it also sells products including clothing, footwear and consumer goods.

Ford to join forces with Alibaba

Ford Motor Co. is expected to sign as early as Thursday a deal with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd which may allow the U.S. automaker to test selling cars to consumers in China through Alibaba’s online retail arm Tmall, as well as via a new “auto vending machine” store concept, according to a Ford source familiar with the matter.

Representatives of Ford and Alibaba, including Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. and Ford CEO Jim Hackett, are expected to be in Hangzhou on Thursday to sign a letter of intent that outlines the scope of the new partnership. The partnership would be part of Ford’s effort to overhaul its China strategy to revive the growth momentum it has lost in recent months.

 

Disclaimer

This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Junior 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.

 

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