Europe takes the spotlight | Calamatta Cuschieri

European markets lead gains, Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy, and oil sees strong gains.

European markets lead gains, Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy, and oil sees strong gains
European markets lead gains, Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy, and oil sees strong gains

US markets traded mostly lower on Thursday as a sell-off in technology shares offset an advance in the energy sector. However, a popular index of small-capitalisation stocks closed at a record for the second straight day, underlining the resilience of that segment of the market amid worries about trade wars and rising interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 54.95 points, or 0.2%, to 24,713.98 with the S&P 500 index falling 2.33 points, or less than 0.1%, at 2,720.13.

European markets meanwhile ended at their highest levels since late January, as energy stocks tracked oil prices higher and Ocado shares surged after a new partnership agreement to enter the U.S. market. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.7% to 395.79, its highest close since the 30th of January with the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index leaping by 0.7% to a record close of 7,787.97.

Cambridge Analytica bankruptcy

Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the center of this year’s Facebook privacy row, has filed for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a New York court late on Thursday. The company and its British parent SCL Elections Ltd said earlier this month that they would shut down immediately and begin bankruptcy proceedings after suffering a sharp drop in business.

Cambridge Analytica faces lawsuits in the U.S. over the Facebook data collection. One, for example, seeks class action status on behalf of all New York citizens who were Facebook members and whose information was obtained. They say they face ongoing damages because their private data is in the hands of the company. Cambridge Analytica LLC listed assets in the range of $100,001 to $500,000 and liabilities in the range of $1 million to $10 million.

Crude recovery

Oil prices held firm on Friday on strong demand, ongoing supply cuts led by producer cartel OPEC and looming U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran. Brent crude futures were at $79.55 per barrel in the morning session, up 25 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 on Thursday.

Crude prices have received broad support from voluntary supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) aimed at tightening the market but markets still remained below multi-year highs as surging output from the United States is expected to offset at least some of the shortfalls. U.S. crude oil has soared by more than a quarter in the last two years, to a record 10.72 million barrels per day.

 

Disclaimer:

This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Junior Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are 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.

More in Business Comment

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe