Onwards and upwards | Calamatta Cuschieri

European markets closed the session slightly higher on Wednesday as investors eyed fresh economic data and renewed promises on financial regulation from the US while a rise in oil prices set a positive tone in American markets

Although stock market advances cooled off somewhat after the Energy Information Administration showed an unexpected rise in crude inventories, both the Dow and the S&P were trading in the green
Although stock market advances cooled off somewhat after the Energy Information Administration showed an unexpected rise in crude inventories, both the Dow and the S&P were trading in the green

European markets hovered around the flat line on Wednesday, eventually closing the session slightly higher as investors eyed fresh economic data and renewed promises on financial regulation from US President Donald Trump. Oil and gas stocks gave Europe a boost, with energy and basic material shares trading higher, but healthcare and telecoms where a drag.

A rise in oil prices set a positive tone in American markets, with the Nasdaq touching a fresh record in intraday trade. US markets rallied in the wake of a strong reading on private sector hiring in March. Some top performers included Caterpillar, McDonalds and Visa, who all traded around 1.5% higher on Wednesday.

Although stock market advances cooled off somewhat after the Energy Information Administration showed an unexpected rise in crude inventories, both the Dow and the S&P were trading in the green, posting upward movements during Wednesday’s trading session. Markets appeared to shrug off geopolitical news coming from North Korea, which launched another intermediate-range missile and a chemical attack in Syria that left hundreds dead, including children.

Healthcare drags but oil stocks are up

Healthcare stocks traded lower as US lawmakers made attempts to reconcile differences to replace Obamacare, while drug maker Glaxo Smith Kline announced it is recalling thousands of asthma inhalers. The firm’s shares traded higher on this news.

But it was auto stocks, led the falls in Europe, with BMW facing strike action in the UK.

Meanwhile, basic resources stocks outperformed their peers, lifting markets higher. Miners were in the green, taking full advantage of higher coal prices. This led companies such as BHP Billiton and Glencore to trade firmly in the green during the session.

Likewise, oil and gas stocks were among the day’s best performers in early trade, but pared gains by the afternoon after data showed an unexpected rise in US crude inventories last week. The energy Information Administration said inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels.

Company news

The European Union has given the green light to ChemChina’s $43 billion acquisition of Syngenta, the agribusiness company. Syngenta’s shares traded positively once the announcement was made by the European watchdog.

Jab Holdings, the US-based private investment company, confirmed today that it plans to buy the food service company Panera Bread in a deal worth $7.5 billion. Shares in the acquired company traded negatively following the news of the takeover.

Toshiba is finally being cast in a positive light following a bid from Hon Hai for its chip unit for $18 billion. Shares in the Japanese electronics manufacturer reacted well to this news trading in positive territory.

This article was issued by Rebecca Naudi, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article is 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.

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