Index back in positive territory
After the mid-week break, the Malta Stock Exchange index traded slightly higher, led by a gain in the share price of GlobalCapital. As a result the MSE Index closed just 0.154 per cent higher to end the session at 4,881.011 points.
GlobalCapital was the day's top gainer as 11,030 shares were purchased across three transactions. The equity recovered 10c or five per cent to close the day at Lm2.10.
Maltacom plc was the other gainer during yesterday's session. The share rose marginally by 0.33 per cent or 0c5 to regain back the Lm1.50 level. Today's activity consisted of 4,650 shares being traded across eight transactions with the price raging between Lm1.49,5 and Lm1.50.
On the Alternative Companies List, Datatrak Holdings lost 1c to close the session at 25c. A total of 9,000 shares were exchanged across three transactions.
HSBC Bank Malta was the day's most actively traded equity with a total of 45,770 shares carrying a market consideration of Lm90,275 changing hands across 24 transactions, leaving the price unchanged at Lm1.97.
Similarly, trading in Bank of Valletta shares was quite active with 20,070 shares being swapped between sixteen transactions. Initial selling activity saw the equity decline by 1c at Lm3.58 level before new buying activity coming into the market to restore the share's price back to its original price of Lm3.59.
Elsewhere in the market 7,234 shares were exchanged in International Hotel Investments shares without effecting the previous closing price of €1.
In the fixed interest sector of the market, activity was spread across one corporate bond and five government stocks with prices remaining relatively stable.
European markets hit five-year highs
Yesterday, European equities hit new five-year highs in a broad advance led by heavyweight banking, oil and mining stocks. By lunchtime, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.4 per cent while Frankfurt's Xetra Dax gained 0.2 per cent and the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.4 per cent. Resource stocks were among the top gainers as Morgan Stanley raised its price target on London-listed Xstrata, lifting its shares 3.4 per cent.
The Nikkei climbed to a seven-month closing high, with export-focused stocks driven up by strong US economic numbers and yen weakness. The Nikkei 225 stock average rose 0.8 per cent to 16,829.20. The broader Topix index was also up 0.8 per cent at 1,651.85.
Overnight data from Washington showed US retail sales rose one per cent last month, five times faster than expected. Signs that American consumers are continuing to drive economic growth despite a slowdown in the housing market buoyed Japanese exporters such as Sony.
Sony shares rose 1.8 per cent, boosted also by its announcement that it would stick to its target of shipping two million units of its PlayStation 3 game console worldwide by the end of December and six million by the end of March.
Valletta Fund Management (Tel. 8007 2344) and Bank of Valletta plc (Tel. 2131 2020). BOV and VFM are licensed by the MFSA to conduct investment services business.