Earnings and Powell boost markets | Calamatta Cuschieri

U.S. and European stocks finish the trading day higher, Aramco seeks stake in SABIC and Alibaba acquires stake in Focus Media

U.S. and European stocks finish the trading day higher
U.S. and European stocks finish the trading day higher

U.S. stocks finished mostly higher Wednesday as investors digested the latest comments from Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, which painted an upbeat picture of the domestic US economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced by 79.40 points, or 0.3%, to 25,199.29, marking its fifth-straight day of gains. The S&P 500 index rose 6.07 points, or 0.2%, at 2,815.62, powered almost entirely by gains in the financials sector, up 1.5%, and industrials, which climbed 1.1% on the day.

European markets also finished higher, with some indices closing at the highest level in more than a month, extending gains to a second session in the region amid a weakening euro and a round of well-received corporate results that fostered buying appetite. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.5% to 387.06, marking its highest close since June 15. Germany’s DAX 30 index rallied 0.8% to close at 12,765.94, representing its highest close since June 18

Aramco seeks stake in SABIC

Saudi Aramco said it is looking to buy a stake in Saudi petrochemical maker SABIC, a move that could boost the state oil giant’s market valuation ahead of a planned initial public offering. Repots emerged that Aramco had invited banks to pitch for an advisory role on the potential acquisition of a strategic stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Aramco wants to develop its downstream business as the government prepares to sell up to 5 percent of the world’s largest oil producer, possibly by next year. Boosting its petrochemicals portfolio further could help attract investors for the IPO. The oil giant is expanding its footprint globally by signing downstream deals and boosting the capacity of its plants.

Alibaba acquires stake in Focus Media

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Wednesday said it has agreed to acquire a minority stake in China’s Focus Media Information Technology Co Ltd to tap into the digital marketing sector. The e-commerce firm would also invest $511.1 million in an entity controlled by Focus Media’s chairman Jason Jiang, by subscribing to newly issued shares, it said.

Alibaba will acquire about 6.62 percent in Focus Media for 9.63 billion yuan ($1.43 billion) and possibly another 5.0 percent stake in the next 12 months, it said in a statement. Upon completion of the deal, Alibaba will become Focus Media’s strategic investor, the Shenzhen-listed firm said in a separate exchange filing. Focus media, which was founded in 2003, has its main business in China’s interactive digital media and online advertising sectors.

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.

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