Markets end mixed | Calamatta Cuschieri

Markets summary

The S&P 500 ended lower on Monday, weighed down by Walt Disney, while Alexion Pharmaceuticals jumped on a $39 billion buyout offer from AstraZeneca in one of the year’s biggest deals. U.S. officials began to administer the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Monday following emergency-use approval from federal regulators last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.48% to end at 29,900.96 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.32% to 3,651.92. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.61% to 12,453.96.

European shares rose on Monday as a decision to extend trade talks between Britain and the European Union kept hopes of an eventual deal alive, but gains in London’s blue-chips lagged a higher pound and a near 6% drop in AstraZeneca weighed. With banks in the lead, Europe’s benchmark STOXX 600 index rose 0.4% after breaking a five-week winning streak to end 1% lower last week.

Maltese markets sank, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index losing 1.15 percent to close at 8,528.554 points. Bank of Valletta Plc led the losses with shares down 2.8 percent at €1.04, followed by BMIT Technologies Plc which lost 2.04 percent to €0.48. Medserv Plc meanwhile posted the largest gain with shares up 6.67 percent to $0.64.

Tech Giants face fines from new EU rules

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet unit Google may have to change their business practices in Europe or face hefty fines between 6-10% under new draft EU rules to be announced on Tuesday. The rules are the most serious attempt by the 27-country bloc to rein in the power of the U.S. tech giants which control troves of data and online platforms on which thousands of companies and millions of Europeans rely on.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton will present the rules, a bid not just to rein in tech giants but also to prevent the emergence of anti-competitive dominant companies. The rules also mark the European Commission’s frustration with its antitrust cases against the tech giants, notably Google, which critics say did not address the problem.

Source: Reuters

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