Global markets advance | Calamatta Cuschieri

US markets ended the week higher on Friday...

US markets ended the week higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both finishing at five-month highs as encouraging news on the US-China trade deal lifted investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 138.93 points, or 0.5%, to 25,848.87 with the S&P 500 index advancing 14 points, or 0.5%, to 2,822.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 57.62 points, 0.8%, to end at 7,688.53.

European stocks also rose together with global markets, with investors driven by hopes on global trade and Chinese assurances of forthcoming economic stimulus. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.5% to 380.60 with the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gaining 0.6% to 7,228.75. Germany’s DAX rose 0.9% to close the session at 11,693.53.

Maltese markets enjoyed a strong end to the week with the MSE Equity Total Return Index jumping 1.1% as Bank Of Valletta released its 2018 financial results, showing a net profit of €51.4million after the €75m provision for litigation announced earlier last year. Its shares closed 6.4% up at €1.33. Malita Investments Plc followed behind with an almost 3% gain to end the session at €0.885.

Revised outlook for Euro-Area

Investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley revised their outlook on European markets, with an emerging trend of euro-area numbers coming in above expectations suggesting that the economic slowdown may have bottomed out. “There are tentative signs that the worst of the weakness is behind us,” Goldman Sachs economists led by Jari Stehn, wrote in a note. “In contrast to the material downside surprises last year, more recent data have generally come in ahead of expectations.”

For the Goldman economists, euro-area growth is set to pick up to an annualized pace of 1.4 percent in the second half of the year, having recently stabilized at around 1 percent. Many of the idiosyncratic issues seen in 2018 are starting to fade, including problems in the German auto industry, according to Graham Secker, Morgan Stanley’s chief European equity strategist. French consumer confidence has also picked up after a dent related to the Yellow Vest protests, though a flare-up at the weekend suggests that situation remains fragile.

Britian’s option for Brexit delay

Britain could ask the European Union for a Brexit delay even after the bloc’s March 21-22 summit, a senior diplomat said, suggesting that the decisive moment for the stalled divorce deal might still be some time ahead. EU diplomats were heard saying on Monday that national leaders of the 27 do not necessarily need to meet physically to approve any such request - if it came from London.

The diplomat added, however: “Everybody prefers to do it in an orderly way at the Council” - referring to the Thursday-Friday talks of all EU leaders in Brussels. As the EU ponders the legal and political consequences of any Brexit delay, it also awaits a possible third vote in the divided UK parliament on Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce agreement with the bloc.

 

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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