Stocks reverse earlier gains | Calamatta Cuschieri

Markets summary

Wall Street ended sharply lower on Thursday as U.S. coronavirus infections surged and investors weighed the timeline for the mass rollout of an effective vaccine. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.08% to end at 29,080.17 points, while the S&P 500 lost 1.00% to 3,537.01. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.65% to 11,709.59.

European shares retreated from eight-month highs on Thursday as surging coronavirus infections raised doubts about a quicker economic rebound. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.8%, reversing after having gained 12.5% so far this month with the banking and travel sectors leading declines.

Maltese markets also fell with the MSE Equity Total Return Index dropping 1.01 percent to 7,417.074 points. MaltaPost Plc led the losses with shares down 11.02 percent at €1.05, with Malta International Airport Plc following with a 5.56 percent drop to €5.10. International Hotel Investments Plc meanwhile posted the largest gain with shares up 2.68 percent at €0.575.

Oil prices fall

Oil prices fell on Friday, pressured by fears about a slow recovery in the global economy and fuel demand due to rising COVID-19 infections, but the market remained on track for a second straight weekly gain, helped by hopes for a vaccine. Brent crude was down 51 cents, or 1.2%, at $43.02 a barrel as of 0741 GMT, after dropping 0.6% on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 66 cents, or 1.6%, to $40.46 a barrel, having lost 0.8% on Thursday.

China stops Ant IPO

China’s President Xi Jinping personally decided to pull the plug on Ant Group’s $37-billion initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing Chinese officials with the knowledge of the matter. The decision to stop what would have been the world’s largest ever IPO, came days after the fintech giant’s billionaire founder Jack Ma launched a public attack on the country’s financial watchdogs and banks.

President Xi ordered Chinese regulators to investigate and effectively shut down Ant's stock market flotation, the report said here. Ant Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Information Office of the State Council, China’s cabinet, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Source: Reuters

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