The Malta Independent 24 April 2019, Wednesday

Mixed markets

Thursday, 21 March 2019, 13:52 Last update: about 2 months ago

US stocks closed mostly lower after seeing brief gains on Wednesday, as the Federal Reserve signalled no further interest rate hikes this year, in line with its views of tame inflation and slower economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 141.71 points, or 0.6%, to 25,745.67. The S&P 500 index slipped 8.34 points, or 0.3%, to 2,824.23 with the financial sector falling 2.1% whilst the Nasdaq Composite Index turned higher, adding 5.02 points to 7,728.97.

European markets also ended lower with a raft of negative corporate news weighing on the region’s indexes.  The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 0.9% while Germany’s DAX Index led the retreat as BMW AG warned earnings would fall and a U.S. jury found Bayer’s Roundup weed killer as a substantial cause of cancer, causing shares of the pharmaceutical group to fall on the news.

Maltese equities traded higher for the third-consecutive session with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing up 0.15% at 9,471.515 points. The biggest gains were seen from Bank Of Valletta Plc which rose 3.93% to €1.455. Malta Properties Company Plc rose 1.67% to €0.61 followed by FIMBank Plc which gained 1.47% to end at €0.69.

Levi Strauss outprices IPO

Levi Strauss & Co fetched a higher price than expected in its initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday, selling $623.3 million in shares as the U.S. jeans maker looks to return to the stock market after 34 years as a family-owned company. The company, which claims to have invented blue jeans in the 19th century and is named for the man who founded it in 1853, is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker “LEVI”.

The success of the IPO underscores the diverging fortunes of retail companies over the last few years. Vendors like Levi with consistently popular offerings have flourished as they reach more shoppers through online channels, while tens of thousands of brick-and-mortar stores have closed under pressure from e-commerce giants such as Amazon.com Inc.

Theresa May pushes for Brexit delay

Theresa May heads to the European Council meeting in Brussels to push her demand for a one-off, three-month delay to Brexit -- something her EU counterparts have already said she can’t have unless Parliament ratifies the divorce deal. Her government plans to put it to another vote next week.

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom confirmed to lawmakers that on Monday there will be a debate on an amendable motion on Brexit, and that the government still intends to put its Brexit deal to a third meaningful vote. She said the timing of that will be subject to the outcome of this week’s EU summit, and that she’ll make a further timetabling statement when she is able.

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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