The Malta Independent 18 January 2018, Thursday

Fed drives markets

Thursday, 14 December 2017, 12:49 Last update: about 2 months ago

U.S. stocks fluctuated but mostly rose on Wednesday, while the dollar rose and Treasuries slipped as investors kept an eye on upcoming central bank meetings and the special Senate election in Alabama.The Dow ended at a record for a fourth straight session after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, as had been widely expected.

A sharp decline in financial shares limited the broader market’s advance and pushed the S&P 500 into slightly negative territory in the final minutes of trading. The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark federal-funds rate by a quarter percentage point to between 1.25% and 1.5%—its fourth increase in a year.

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Brexit legislation vote

Brexit was a major focus for trading after May’s government was defeated in a key parliamentary vote on legislation for the U.K. divorce from the EU. MPs backed an amendment giving them a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels. The government had previously offered a vote. But critics wanted a guarantee that this would be "meaningful", claiming the bill gave ministers the power to bypass Parliament in implementing the withdrawal agreement.

Dominic Grieve MP, who tabled the amendment, said the bill "couldn't be allowed to stay in the condition it was in" as it gave Parliament limited ability to interfere with Brexit negotiations. Unless the amendment is overturned by the government at a later stage, it means MPs will now get to vote on the final deal reached with Brussels before it is ratified.

Disney-Fox deal

Walt Disney is close to confirming a deal to buy 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets for about $40 per share, or $75bn, as talks about the price continued throughout the week. The sale would include the 20th Century Fox film studio and the Sky and Star satellite broadcasters in the UK, Europe and Asia. Disney was left as the front runner after Comcast, the NBC owner, dropped out of the race on Monday.

The deal, which is set to be announced on Thursday, will end more than half a century of expansion by Rupert Murdoch, 86 and the owner of Twenty-First Century fox, who turned a single Australian newspaper he inherited from his father at age 21 into one of the world’s most important global news and film conglomerates.

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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