Global stocks end mixed | Calamatta Cuschieri

Markets summary

US stocks mostly lost ground on Tuesday as concerns over a new variant of the coronavirus and disappointing economic data stole the thunder from Washington’s passage of a long-awaited pandemic relief bill. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 200.94 points, or 0.67%, to 30,015.51, the S&P 500 lost 7.66 points, or 0.21%, to 3,687.26 and the Nasdaq Composite added 65.40 points, or 0.51%, to 12,807.92.

European shares meanwhile posted their best day in six weeks on Tuesday, rebounding from a sharp sell-off as optimism around Brexit and U.S. stimulus helped to allay worries of a further hit to the global economy from a new coronavirus variant in Britain. The pan-European STOXX 600 index finished up 1.2% on broad-based gains, recovering from a more than 2% slide in the previous session, which was also its biggest one-day drop in nearly two months.

Maltese markets meanwhile ended slightly higher, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index edging up 0.187 percent to 8,551.781 points on thin trading. Only 4 stocks traded, with 3 closing in gains. Malta International Airport Plc led the rise with shares up 4.27 percent at €6.10, followed by Malta Properties Company Plc with a 1 percent rise to €0.505.

Britain and EU grapple for last-minute Brexit deal

The United Kingdom and the European Union have still not clinched a Brexit trade deal to avoid a turbulent split in just eight days time because of serious disagreements about competition and fishing, a British minister said on Wednesday. Since formally exiting the EU on Jan. 31, the United Kingdom has been negotiating a free trade deal with the bloc in an attempt to ease its exit from the single market and customs union at the end of this year.

Thus far, no deal has been done and both sides have given an exhausting array of conflicting signals that indicate, variously, that a deal is imminent, that talks have far to go and that a disorderly no-trade deal exit could be on the cards. The EU is making a “final push” to strike a trade deal with Britain, although there are still deep rifts over fishing rights, chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Tuesday before meeting EU ambassadors in Brussels.

 

Source: Reuters

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