Markets trade mixed | Calamatta Cuschieri

Global markets trade mixed as Trump ends stimulus talks & Poland fines Gazprom, involved companies for Nord Stream 2 pipeline

US markets reversed earlier gains and closed firmly lower after US President Donald Trump said he would end negotiations on a new fiscal stimulus package until after the November elections. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 375.88 points, or 1.3 percent, to 27,772.76, while the S&P 500 retreated 47.66 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,360.97. The Nasdaq Composite lost 177.88 points, or 1.6 percent, to end the session at 11,154.60.

European stocks meanwhile stretched out further gains with banks and financial stocks surging more than 3% on the back of hopes for a Brexit trade deal. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index reversed its earlier gains and closed up 0.1 percent and the German DAX jumped 0.6 percent on positive manufacturing data in the Eurozone’s largest economy.

Maltese markets moved slightly lower with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing down 0.05 percent to 7,244.430. Mainstreet Complex Plc posted the largest decline with shares down 8.16 percent at €0.45, followed by HSBC Bank Malta Plc which lost 1.32 percent to €0.75. Trident Estates Plc meanwhile posted the largest gain with shares up 3.45 percent at €1.50.

Poland issues fines for Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Poland's anti-monopoly watchdog said on Wednesday it had fined Russia's Gazprom more than 29 billion zlotys ($7.6 billion) for building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline without its approval. Gazprom, leads Nord Stream 2 with half of the funding provided by Germany's Uniper and BASF's Wintershall unit, Anglo-Dutch company Shell, Austria's OMV and Engie which were also fined by the watchdog.

Poland sees Nord Stream 2 as a threat to Europe’s energy security as it will increase reliance on Russian energy. “Completion of this investment project increases economic dependence on Russian gas - not only in the case of Poland, but also of other European states,” president of UOKiK, the watchdog, Tomasz Chrostny said.

Work has been halted in December as pipe-laying company Swiss-Dutch Allseas suspended operations because of the U.S. sanctions targeting companies providing vessels. Construction of the 1,230-kilometre pipeline is nearly finished except for a final stretch of roughly 120 km in Danish waters.