Policy-makers move markets | Calamatta Cuschieri

Markets advance on Fed minutes, the EU gives Britain more time for Brexit & Apple seeks suppliers using renewable energy

U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday as the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March meeting reassured investors that the central bank is in no hurry to resume raising interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 6.58 points to 26,157.16 after spending most of the day in negative territory whilst the S&P 500 index advanced 10.01 points, or 0.4%, to end at 2,888.21. The Nasdaq Composite gained 54.97 points, or 0.7%, to end the session at 7,964.24.

European markets also posted modest gains as most sectors balanced out losses from the financial sector as the ECB left interest rates unchanged. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3 percent with the UK’s FTSE 100 index closing little changed. Basic resources added 1% with higher oil prices contributing to a 0.7% rise in the energy sector.

Maltese markets meanwhile slipped slightly lower with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing down 0.027% to 9,332.402, weighed by losses in International Hotel Investments Plc, whose shares 2.74% lower to €0.71 and BMIT Technologies Plc, which ended the session down 1.87% at €0.525. Malta International Airport Plc balanced out the session with a 1.53% gain to end at €6.65, along with GO Plc, posting a 0.41% gain to €4.84.

EU grants another Brexit delay

European Union leaders gave Britain six more months to leave the bloc, more than Prime Minister Theresa May says she needs but less than many in the bloc wanted, thanks to fierce resistance from France. While the extension avoids the risk of a disorderly no-deal Brexit on Friday, it sets up a political crisis later on this year for Theresa May and could trigger an immediate backlash that risks destabilizing the UK government.

Britain was due to leave the bloc of 28 member countries on March 29 but May has failed three times to get the divorce deal she negotiated with the EU approved in Parliament. May has already been forced to ask the EU for one delay and reluctantly returned to Brussels on Wednesday to ask for a second short extension to the negotiating period.

Apple’s renewable energy mission

Apple Inc said on Thursday it has nearly doubled the number of suppliers using only clean energy for production work, including two that assemble and make the processor chips for the iPhone. The company defines clean energy as coming from wind, solar or bio-gas fuel cells, as well as what it calls “low-impact” hydroelectric projects like a site in Oregon that captures energy from water in irrigation canals to power one of its data centers.

Forty-four companies are now in the program, Apple said on Thursday, including Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, whose Foxconn unit makes iPhones, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, which supplies the A-series chips that power all of Apple’s mobile devices. Apple had previously disclosed 23 suppliers in the program.

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.