Slow start for markets | Calamatta Cuschieri

European and Asian markets slipped on thin trading volumes Monday as tensions between the US and North Korea came back into focus.

22 August 2017, 8:52am
Energy company Total has agreed to buy Maersk's oil & gas business in a $7.45bn deal
Energy company Total has agreed to buy Maersk's oil & gas business in a $7.45bn deal
European and Asian markets slipped on thin trading volumes Monday as tensions between the US and North Korea came back into focus. The FTSE 100 closed down on Monday, weighed down by financial stocks with HSBC and Barclays being the biggest movers in that direction, however, mining stocks were ultimately bolstered by strong safe-haven metal prices.

US stocks fluctuated after erasing early losses, while the dollar edged lower amid growing unease about persistent low inflation and as investors await central bank speeches at Jackson Hole. The S&P 500 Index rebounded to trade flat after hitting the lowest since July amid the tumult in Washington that imperils the president’s policy agenda.

Total buys Maersk’s oil business

Energy company Total has agreed to buy Maersk's oil & gas business in a $7.45bn deal, the French company’s biggest acquisition since 1999 and another sign of the accelerating pace of energy deals after a long downturn. Total’s Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne is following through on a hint last month that he was ready and willing to make acquisitions to grow production, taking advantage of a plunge in company valuations.

The combination with Maersk Oil gives Total about 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of proven and probable reserves, about 80 percent of which are in the North Sea, according to the statement. It will add output of about 160,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent to the French group next year, rising to 200,000 a day by 2020.

McDonald’s falls out with India partner

Fast food chain McDonald's said on Monday it planned to shut all 169 of its restaurants in India's northern and eastern regions, escalating a dispute with its local partner and potentially putting thousands of workers out of jobs. The move by McDonald's India follows a protracted legal dispute with its partner, Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt Ltd that started in 2013 due to alleged irregular siphoning activities by CPRL’s managing director, Vikram Bakashi.

The US company said it was "compelled" to take the action because its partner had breached the terms of their franchise agreements. The north and east Indian outlets under the McDonalds-CPRL franchise employ 6,500 people directly and many more indirectly. The decision will likely lead to thousands of job losses and further dent McDonald's share of India's booming quick service restaurants market, where it has already been losing ground to rivals like Domino's Pizza.

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.