Negative day for large caps
The Malta Stock exchange had to bear the brunt of a negative day from its largest components, namely HSBC Bank Malta and Bank of Valletta, as both banks dropped to see the index lower by 0.408 per cent to 4811.15 points. Activity on the benchmark was restricted to the four largest equities by market capitalisation.
HSBC shares lost all of yesterday's gains, as the equity dropped a full cent to close the session at the Lm1.87 level. Intraday activity in the equity saw the highest number of shares traded, together with the highest number of deals.
Selling pressures had the upper hand in BOV's trading day as a couple of deals executed pushed the equity lower by nearly three cents, as the equity closed at Lm3.57, 0.81 per cent lower to its previous closing price. At the end of the session, the best bid stood for 240 shares at Lm3.57, while a further 435 shares remained unfilled on the offer side at Lm3.59c9. Investors maintained a relatively significant amount of interest in Maltacom shares, following the exchange of 14,669 shares across 11 deals. The equity opened one tenth of a cent lower, thereafter regaining the Lm1.48 level to see the day off at the same level. When the session terminated a further 3,520 shares were on the offer side at Lm1.48, against a demand of 2750 shares at Lm1.47. An identical deal to Monday's trade in Malta International Airport, left a positive mark on the equity unlike its previous session where the equity was unmoved. The airport operator gained half a cent to end the session at Lm1.36c5.
European equities positive on merger news
Yesterday, European equities were higher, as merger activity and lower oil prices combined to pull the markets out of their post-Easter torpor. PPR, the French fashion retailer, said it would make a public tender offer for German sportswear maker Puma after agreeing to buy a 27 per cent stake in the company from Mayfair, Puma's largest shareholder. By midday, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.4 per cent, while Frankfurt's Xetra Dax added 0.7 per cent. In Paris, the CAC 40 was 0.3 per cent higher.
London equities moved higher in midday trade, powered by strength in the mining sector, as traders absorbed the latest bid developments after the holiday weekend. The FTSE 100 made gains of 0.4 per cent and the FTSE 250 was 0.6 per cent stronger.
Japanese stocks drifted lower, partially eroding Monday's gains, as a slightly stronger yen took the gloss off exporters. The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.45 per cent while the broader Topix index dipped a more modest 0.14 per cent.
Overnight Wall Street stocks closed mixed, as caution over inflation and future Federal Reserve policy followed Friday's report of solid job creation last month and reports of a possible buyout of Dow Chemical, later scotched by the company.
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.