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Markets shrugging off uncertainty, Tesco buying up wholesalers & change of heart from North Korea

U.S. stocks and European markets closed higher on Monday
U.S. stocks and European markets closed higher on Monday

U.S. stocks closed higher Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average bouncing back from a four-session losing streak and ending up 336 points, as investors looked beyond the threat of a global trade war and instead focused on positive economic data. The S&P 500 rose 29.69 points, or 1.1%, to 2,720.94, with all 11 subsectors finishing higher, led by utilities and financials. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 72.84 points, or 1%, to 7,330.70.

European markets also ended in the green, snapping a four-session slide, as supermarket chains Tesco and Morrison’s advanced, and as last week’s selloff offered opportunities to investors. A better-than-anticipated reading for the British services sector helped London’s blue-chip benchmark shed some of last week’s poor performance that left the FTSE 100 at its lowest level in more than a year on Friday.

Tesco – Booker takeover

Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, has completed the £4 billion takeover of Booker, the country's largest wholesaler, the companies said on Monday. The deal followed the backing of both sets of shareholders on Wednesday and the regulatory green light in December. Tesco and Booker said the scheme was now effective after court approval on Friday.

The cash and shares deal, originally worth £3.7 billion when it was first announced in January 2017, was implemented through a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement. Booker shares have now been de-listed from the London Stock Exchange. For each Booker share Tesco offered 0.861 new Tesco shares and 42.6p in cash. Tesco shares closed Friday at 202p. Tesco will now start its “Joining Forces” programme to integrate the two businesses.

North Korean turn-around

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met senior South Korean government officials for the first time and said it is his “firm will to vigorously advance” inter-Korean ties and pursue reunification, the North’s official news agency said on Tuesday. Tensions between the two Koreas eased during the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea, where President Moon Jae-In hosted a high-level North Korean delegation. Kim Jong Un invited Moon to North Korea for a summit, which Moon said the two sides should work towards.

Washington and Pyongyang have been at loggerheads for months over the North’s nuclear and missile programs, with U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un trading insults and threatening war. A 10-member South Korean delegation led by National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong traveled to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, on Monday in hopes of encouraging North Korea and the United States to talk to one another.


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.