The Malta Independent 19 April 2019, Friday

Markets in Wait-And-See

Thursday, 7 March 2019, 13:29 Last update: about 2 months ago

US stocks closed lower on Wednesday on weaker than expected economic data as the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book showed the partial US government shutdown had weighed on business activities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 133.17 points, or 0.5%, to 25,673.46, while the S&P 500 index slipped 18.20 points, or 0.7%, to 2,771.45. The Nasdaq Composite Index retreated by 70.44 points, or 0.9%, to 7,505.92.

European markets meanwhile ended mixed as the banking and autos sectors came under pressure with investors awaiting further details on the potential US-China trade deal. The Stoxx Europe 600 was flat on at 375.69 with Germany’s DAX falling by 0.1% to 11,606.12. The UK’s FTSE 100 however rose by 0.1% to end the session at 7,190.46.

Maltese equities continued on their positive trend with the MSE Equity Total Return Index adding a further 0.303% to close at 9,113.00 points. The biggest gains were seen from Lombard Bank Malta Plc which jumped 10.62% to €1.60 after positive financial results for 2018. Bank of Valletta Plc also moved up 0.79% to end at €1.27 however on extraordinarily low volume with the equity seeing just a single trade of 4,200 shares for the session.

Boeing plans new jet

Boeing Co is planning to move ahead on a new midsized airplane in what would be the first all-new jet program for the world’s biggest plane-maker in more than a decade. Air Lease, one of the largest aircraft lessors, said it sees interest in Boeing’s proposed mid-market aircraft from airlines, some of which are looking for longer range while others, such as Asian carriers, seek the lowest possible cost per seat kilometre.

While Boeing and Airbus have traditionally launched new jets alongside purchase commitments from airlines, interest by aircraft lessors like Air Lease is forming an increasingly important role in the decision-making process, industry sources have said. Boeing reiterated on Wednesday that it will make a decision in 2020 on whether to launch the plane, which aims to address the middle of the jet market between traditional narrow-body jets with one aisle and long-distance wide-body planes.

Aon – Willis Towers Watson merger

Aon Plc is considering a combination with rival insurance brokerage Willis Towers Watson Plc, in what could be the industry’s largest ever merger. Shares of Willis Towers jumped as much as 8.6 percent to their highest price ever. They closed up 5.2 percent to $182.04 in New York trading, valuing the company at about $24 billion. Aon fell 7.8 percent to $157.25 for a market value of about $38 billion.

The companies have held preliminary talks and Aon is preparing to submit a bid in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public.

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 are 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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