The Malta Independent 22 January 2021, Friday

Global markets edge higher

Thursday, 14 January 2021, 16:10 Last update: about 8 days ago

US stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday with defensive sectors leading gains as investors waited for details of the next U.S. fiscal stimulus plan and Congress began President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8.22 points, or 0.03%, to 31,060.47, while the S&P 500 gained 8.65 points, or 0.23%, to 3,809.84 and the Nasdaq Composite added 56.52 points, or 0.43%, to 13,128.95.

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European shares also closed slightly up on Wednesday, with deal-related gains in French grocer Carrefour and Spain’s Telefonica offsetting wider concerns about extended COVID-19 lockdowns. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose just 0.1% as investors paused after last week’s strong rally.

Maltese markets also rallied, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index gaining 0.26 percent to 8,261.683 points. MaltaPost Plc led the gains with shares jumping 14.78 percent to €1.32 on a single trade of 44 shares. Go Plc posted the second largest gain with shares up 1.76 percent to €3.46. HSBC Bank Malta Plc posted the only drop with shares down 1.17 percent at €0.845.

US strengthens China ban

President Donald Trump has signed an order strengthening a November ban on U.S. investments in alleged Chinese military companies, the White House said on Wednesday, curbing Chinese access to U.S. capital markets days before he leaves office. The change expands the scope of the initial November executive order, which initially only restricted U.S. investors from buying those securities by that date. Reuters had previously reported that the change was under consideration.

Under the amended directive, by Nov. 11, 2021, U.S. investors will be required to have completely divested their holdings of securities of companies designated by the Defense Department as owned or controlled by the Chinese military. The move resulted in S&P Dow Jones Indices announcing late on Wednesday it will remove oil giant China National Offshore Oil Corp’s (CNOOC) securities due to U.S. sanctions. “The securities (CNOOC Ltd ADR and CNOOC Ltd H Shares) will be removed from impacted indices on or before February 1, 2021”, S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a statement.

Source: Reuters

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