Markets celebrate trade truce | Calamatta Cuschieri

Trade optimism, oil supply cuts and new jobs for Amazon

US markets retreated from earlier session highs but still closed up after Washington and Beijing agreed to refrain from escalating their trade dispute. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 117 points, or 0.44 percent, to 26,717, while the S&P 500 index moved up 0.77 percent, or 23 points, to 2,964. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.06 percent, or 85 points, to end the session at 8,091.

European markets also surged on the back of renewed trade optimism with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index closing up 0.8 percent with gains driven by the technology sector. The UK’s FTSE 100 jumped 1.3 percent to 7,524.30 whilst Germany’s DAX followed closely with a 1 percent rise.

Maltese markets meanwhile slipped lower with the MSE Equity Total Return Index retreating 0.06 percent to 9,770.71 as shares in Bank of Valletta Plc lost almost 4 percent to €1.15. Malta International Airport Plc meanwhile jumped 2.9 percent to €7.20 followed by RS2 Software Plc which gained 1.9 percent to €1.59.

OPEC agrees to supply cuts

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to extend oil supply cuts until March 2020 during their meeting in Vienna, Austria as the group’s members overcame their differences in order to prop up the price of crude amid weakening global demand and strong US production.

The supply cuts will likely anger U.S. President Donald Trump, who has demanded OPEC leader Saudi Arabia supply more oil and help reduce prices at the pump if Riyadh wants U.S. military support in its standoff with arch-rival Iran. Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 has climbed more than 25% so far this year after the White House tightened sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran.

Amazon increases French jobs

U.S. online retail giant Amazon said on Tuesday it will create 1,800 permanent contract positions this year in France, its largest European market after Britain and Germany, although furniture retailer Conforama went the other way in cutting jobs. The U.S. group, which has run its Amazon Prime express delivery service in Paris since 2016, has made no secret of its desire to launch a grocery delivery service in France as part of its ambitions to expand in food retail.

The increase will bring Amazon’s total number of permanent staff to 9,300 by end 2019 and reflects the group’s commitment to the French market where it has invested over 2 billion euros ($2.26 billion) since 2010, the statement said.

This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, 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.