Strong volumes in IHI
The MSE index closed modestly lower during yesterday's session at the Malta Stock Exchange as minor declines in the major banking equities pushed the Index lower by 0.174 per cent to close the session at 4,865.784 points.
Apart from International Hotel Investments, trading activity remained relatively subdued in the equity market, as customary during this time of the year. For the second consecutive day, International Hotel Investments shares attracted the highest value of business with 159,694 shares carrying a market consideration of approximately Lm71,984 being exchanged across six transactions.
Sound volume levels aided the euro denominated equity to inch higher by half a euro cent to close the session at €1.05. At the end of the session there was unsatisfied demand of 5,989 shares at €1.05 against supply of 1,000 shares offered at €1.06.
Atypical low trading activity characterised the session for HSBC Bank Malta shares with the share price losing 1c to close the session at Lm1.92. Yesterday's activity consisted of just 5,231 shares traded across five transactions leaving 929 shares best bid at Lm1.92 against 5,160 shares offered at Lm1.93.
Initially trading in Bank of Valletta shares commenced at the previous day closing price of Lm3.59 where a total of 5,491 shares were exchanged at this level. However, as the closing bell approached, the equity dipped by the slimmest of margins to close the day at Lm3.58,5, thereby shedding half a cent.
Elsewhere in the market, two investors swapped 9,500 shares of Fimbank shares without affecting the previous closing price of $1.94.
European stocks down
Yesterday, European equities were lower as banks reacted to market talk of more credit market shocks, but losses were capped by strong earnings and an injection of liquidity by the European Central Bank. The ECB joined the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of Australia in pumping further cash into the financial system to avert a breakdown in lending.
By late morning in London, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.4 per cent, Frankfurt's Xetra Dax shed 0.2 per cent as did the CAC 40 in Paris. In London the FTSE 100 was flat at 6,078.9. Stock markets in Asia had a mixed day, with the Philippines standing out with a near 10 per cent rise while south-east Asian bourses posted losses as investors cashed in on Monday's strong rallies.
The Nikkei 225 advanced 1.1 per cent to 15,901.34. The broader Topix gained 1.7 per cent to 1,549.88, helped by a particularly strong performance in steel stocks, which have a heavy weighting in the index.
The sector came back into fashion as investors hunted for safer sectors amid the global market turmoil. Nippon Steel, Japan's biggest steelmaker, climbed 4.3 per cent.
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.