Markets retreat from pandemic fears | Calamatta Cuschieri

Stocks fall as coronavirus reappears in US and oil prices react

Stocks ended Stocks ended mostly lower Thursday, though tech shares continued to rally as investors sought safety amid a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in states like Arizona and Florida. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 361 points, or 1.4 percent, with the S&P 500 dropping around 18 points, or 0.6 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq meanwhile climbed 55 points, or 0.5 percent to a new record close for the second consecutive day.

European markets also fell, following the losses on Wall Street after another record surge in coronavirus cases. The UK’s FTSE 100 posted the largest drop, down 1.7 percent with energy firms leading the losses. The German DAX closed flat while France’s CAC 40, the Italian FTSE MIB and Spanish IBEX 35 all dropped between 1.2 to 2 percent.

Maltese markets followed the trend lower with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing down 0.228 percent at 8,186.244 points. Bank of Valletta Plc led the losses with shares down 2 percent at €0.98, followed by Malta International Airport Plc which lost 1.74 percent to €5.65. HSBC Bank Malta Plc meanwhile posted the only gain with shares up 3.78 percent to €0.96.

Oil falls on virus fears

Oil prices fell on Friday, adding to steep losses from the previous session, and were headed for weekly declines on worries that renewed lockdowns following a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States and elsewhere would suppress fuel demand. Brent crude looks set for a weekly decline of nearly 2% and U.S. crude for a fall of more than 3%.

Brent crude was down by 25 cents, or 0.6%, at $42.10 a barrel after falling more than 2% on Thursday. U.S. oil fell 33 cents, or 0.8%, at $39.29 a barrel after a drop of 3% in the previous session. While many analysts are expecting economies and fuel demand to bounce back from the pandemic, record daily increases in coronavirus infections in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, raised concerns about the pace of any recovery.

More than 60,500 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States on Thursday, setting a daily record, with Americans being told to take new precautions. The tally was also the highest daily count yet for any country since the pathogen emerged in China late last year.


This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, 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.