Index sheds more ground
The Malta Stock Exchange started off the week in negative territory, after Monday's public holiday. Some selling activity in HSBC Bank Malta and Malta International Airport pushed the index lower by 0.28 of a per cent to close at 4812.853, as the session was once again marked by relatively low volumes.
The airport operator shed 4c, as 11,300 shares exchanged hands at or marginally above the Lm1.35 level. At the end of the session best demand for MIA shares stood for 3,600 shares at Lm1.35 while best supply was for 2,600 shares at Lm1.38,9.
Shares of HSBC lost a full cent, and as has been customary in recent months, the equity was the most heavily traded share with 20 deals executed. The bank's share price closed the session at Lm1.89.
Trading activity in Bank of Valletta shares wiped out all supply at the Lm3.58, with the next lot of 1,000 shares being offered at Lm3.59,9 which is likely to put some upward pressure on today's closing level.
Together with HSBC and MIA, GlobalCapital was the other equity that closed the day in the red as 5,000 shares traded over six deals pushed the equity price by 2c or 0.99 per cent to end the session at Lm2.
Buying activity in Lombard Bank shares helped the equity to quickly regain its Lm5 level, after losing some ground late last week, as the equity gained 1.01 per cent.
Simonds Farsons Cisk was the day's other gainer as a single trade executed in the equity, pushed the price higher by 1c to close the session at 83c.
Elsewhere in the regular market trades in International Hotel Investments and Medserv had no impact on the shares' previous closing prices.
European equity markets slightly down
Yesterday, fresh gains in the banking sector were unable to sustain the positive mood in European equity markets, as investors took a breather after the previous session's strong gains.
By lunchtime, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 retreated 0.1 per cent while Frankfurt's Xetra Dax fell 0.2 per cent and the CAC 40 in Paris moved 0.3 per cent lower.
In London, Whitbread was the leading gainer in London on Tuesday amid speculation that a private equity approach was near. In the wider market, shares were lower at mid-day despite opening higher. The FTSE 100 was down 7.5 points while the FTSE 250 was off 53.5 points.
The Japanese stock market extended gains, bolstered by continuing yen weakness and a jump in large property stocks. The Nikkei 225 closed up 0.9 per cent. The broader Topix rose 0.8 per cent.
On Monday a flurry of merger and acquisition activity lifted investors' morale and helped Wall Street recoup almost all its losses of last week. Proposed deals worth a total of more than $15 billion, including bids for ServiceMaster and Todco, boosted confidence in corporate profits and offset concerns about mortgage lending.
The financial news was compiled by 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.