Mixed markets | Calamatta Cuschieri

Mixed markets, oil highs & EU-US disputes

U.S. stocks finished mostly higher Monday as investors geared up for a new earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 83.97 points, or 0.3 percent, to 26,341.02, weighed by losses in Boeing Co. The S&P 500 index however bounced back to rise 3.03 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,895.77 and the tech-oriented Nasdaq Composite Index gained 15.19 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,953.88.

European markets meanwhile closed mostly lower, with German banks and the real estate sector putting pressure on the region’s indexes. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 percent, moving further from a near eight-month peak hit last week. Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 percent with lender Commerzbank among the top negative movers on the sector index with a 2.4 percent fall.

Maltese markets also slipped lower, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index registering a loss of 0.601% to close the session at 9,362.728. The biggest move was seen from Medserv Plc, whose shares retreated 3.64% to €1.06. Bank Of Valletta Plc followed suit, with shares sinking 2.17% to end the session at €1.35.

Oil reaches five-month high

Oil hit a five-month high above $71 a barrel, supported by concern that violence in Libya could further tighten supply already squeezed by OPEC cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. Brent, the global benchmark, rose to $71.34 a barrel, the highest since November.

Supply curbs led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have underpinned a more than 30 percent rally this year for Brent crude, despite downward pressure from fears of an economic slowdown and weaker demand. Recent increases in U.S. crude inventories have also put a lid on price gains. U.S. crude stocks are forecast to have risen by 2.5 million barrels last week, the third straight weekly addition.

Potential US-EU trade tariffs

The European Union is preparing retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. over subsidies to Boeing Co., significantly escalating transatlantic trade tensions hours after Washington vowed to hit the EU with duties over its support for Airbus SE. The heightened tensions come as the 28-nation EU works toward approving a mandate for the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, to negotiate cuts in industrial tariffs with the Trump administration.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that EU support for Airbus had caused “adverse effects” when announcing the new measures, which would target European goods including jetliners, cheese, wine and motorcycles. While the EU hasn’t disclosed the amount of American goods it would target, Airbus said the bloc would proceed with “far larger countermeasures against the U.S.”

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/