Healthy trading activity on MSE
At yesterday's trading session at the Malta Stock Exchange investors traded shares at prices close to their previous closing levels. Nevertheless, the MSE Index closed in positive territory thanks to gains in Bank of Valletta.
In fact, Bank of Valletta was the day's only gainer as the equity recovered most of its previous session's drop. The day's activity consisted of 5,868 shares, carrying a market consideration of Lm21,201, which were exchanged across six transactions. The equity immediately commenced trading at Lm3.60 and closed the session higher by 2c or 0.5 per cent at Lm3.61,5, after touching an intra-session high of Lm3.62.
On the contrary, HSBC Bank Malta was the only equity to close in negative territory, with the equity still suffering from an uncharacteristic lack of liquidity. Barely 3,780 shares were exchanged during the session, forcing the price to close 0c8 or 0.4 per cent lower at Lm1.92,1. The share has the tightest bid/offer spread witnessed after the close of the session with 3,320 shares best offered at Lm1.92,1 against supply of 1,438 shares offered at Lm1.92,9.
Elsewhere in the market, investors seemed content to trade at previous levels. FIMBank was the most liquid with 89,623 shares changing hands at the $1.94 level. Medserv, on the other hand, was the most actively traded with 14,700 shares being struck across 10 deals at Lm1.60.
International Hotel Investments traded unchanged at €1.09,9. On Wednesday 178,000,000 shares belonging to Istithmar Hotels FZE, which represent about 33 per cent of the total share capital, were admitted to trading on the Malta Stock Exchange after being full paid up for by the subscriber.
Maltacom's and Malta International Airport's share price both closed the day unchanged at Lm1.40 on trading activity consisting of 1,477 shares and 7,429 shares respectively.
The MSE Index closed 0.46 per cent higher at 4,908 points.
European stocks drop
News that eurozone and UK interest rates would be left unchanged failed to rally European equity markets. The European Central Bank held eurozone rates at four per cent while the Bank of England also opted for no change for the UK. The FTSE EuroFirst 300 was down 0.4 per cent in afternoon trade. Germany's Xetra Dax was down 0.5 per cent while in Paris, the CAC-40 eased 0.3 per cent.
London equities surrendered early gains at midday, though the FTSE lacked a clear trend as investors awaited broader reaction to the Bank of England's decision to keep UK interest rates unchanged. The FTSE 100 was 0.3 per cent, lower. The FTSE 250 lost 0.4 per cent.
Asia-Pacific stock markets managed to shrug off poor US housing numbers by the end of trading as investors took more notice of strong domestic news. At the end of the bumpy trading day, the Nikkei 225, with a relatively strong weighting in export stocks, was up 0.6 per cent. The broader Topix slid 0.1 per cent.
US stock-index futures dropped on speculation a report today may show growth in service industries slowed for a second month in August.
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.