Markets start slow | Calamatta Cuschieri

Markets, MiFID II and Steinhoff International restated figures

European stocks kicked off the New Year on a downbeat note on Tuesday after ending 2017 on a high
European stocks kicked off the New Year on a downbeat note on Tuesday after ending 2017 on a high

European stocks kicked off the New Year on a downbeat note on Tuesday after ending 2017 on a high, with car makers falling after a broker downgrade and mining companies taking a breather from a recent rally. The FTSE 100 index fell 0.2% to 7,676.97, easing back from the all-time closing high scored on Friday, the last trading session of 2017. The London benchmark logged a 7.6% gain for the full year, for its second straight year of advances.

The losses for miners came even after upbeat Chinese factory activity data out on Tuesday, which showed that manufacturing sector’s expansion in December was stronger than expected. The biggest movers were Rio Tinto PLC, which dropped 2.2%, Antofagasta PLC, falling 1.9%, and BHP Billiton PLC which lost 1.8%. The U.K. market was further squeezed by the stronger pound. As around 75% of revenues for the FTSE 100 are made overseas, an appreciation in sterling hits profits when converted back into the U.K. currency.

MiFID II coming into play

With the New Year, comes into force new financial law in the form of MiFID II as from the 3rd of January. Banks and asset managers across the European Union have spent more than $2 billion preparing for it. Regulators say it will protect investors, boost transparency and rebuild trust that was tarnished by the 2008 global crash. The industry has even spent months finding ways to sidestep parts of it.

It has taken seven years to get the second iteration of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive into shape because of its wide scope. For starters, it alters how investment research is paid for, how trades are documented and executed, and how brokers share information, find the best prices and pay one another.

Steinhoff International restated figures

Shares of Steinhoff International Holdings NV rose after the South African retail giant said it will restate financial results going back as far as 2015 amid a probe into accounting irregularities. The retailer’s 2017 results will be accompanied by a restatement of its 2016 financial statements as well as the 2015 earnings of Steinhoff International Holdings Pty Ltd., the former Johannesburg-listed entity for the group, the company said in a statement.

The stock jumped 27% to 5.90 rand by 9:56 a.m. in Johannesburg, the most on an intraday basis since Dec. 12. Shares in Steinhoff, whose retail empire includes France’s Conforama furniture chain and Poundland in the U.K., have slumped 87% since the company announced an investigation into its finances and the resignation of its chief executive officer on Dec. 5. Steinhoff moved its primary stock listing to Frankfurt in 2015. The restatements won’t impact its Steinhoff Services Ltd. business, which has bonds listed in Johannesburg.



This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Junior Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, 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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