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RS2 lifts share index higher

The share index edged up by a marginal 0.02 per cent to 4,418.845 points today as the small rebound in the share price of RS2 outweighed the declines in the three property-related companies, namely Malta Properties, Malita Investments and Plaza Centres.

Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta virtually closed unchanged at the €2.25,1 level on activity totalling 10,743 shares while HSBC and FIMBank finished the day flat.

FIMBank failed to hold on to its intra-day high of 92cUS as it closed unchanged at 91cUS across 37,563 shares. HSBC maintained the €1.62 level on thin volumes.

The equity of RS2 Software closed 0.9% higher to the €1.63 level after briefly touching an intra-day low of €1.60. A total of 21,318 shares changed hands today.

Malita Investments lost one per cent and declined to its 2016 low of 85c1 on low activity.

Within the same segment, Malta Properties Company slipped by 2.6 per cent to the 52c1 level across 83,000 shares whilst Plaza Centres eased 0.4 per cent to close the day at the €1.12 level on volumes totalling 12,000 shares.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index registered its strongest daily uplift in nearly three months as it advanced by 0.34 per cent to a fresh 17-month high of 1,171.453 points.

The indicative bid prices quoted by the Central Bank of Malta for all of the longer dated government stocks (with the exception of the three per cent 2040 I issue) reached new record highs today as euro zone yields slumped in reaction to the latest developments from the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.

During yesterday’s monetary policy meeting, the Federal Reserve decided to leave interest rates unchanged (the sixth time in a row) but suggested a rate hike by the end of 2016 on the basis of an improved economic environment and solid growth in the number of jobs being created in the US.

In parallel, the Bank of Japan surprised markets by introducing a new policy-easing tool to help it fight deflation and kick start economic growth – namely a zero-interest-rate target for 10-year Japanese government bonds.

As a result, the 10-year benchmark German Bund yield drifted further into negative territory to -0.044 per cent whilst the yields on Italian and Spanish bonds fell to 1.224 per cent and 0.944 per cent respectively.

Trading activity in the newly issued 2.4 per cent MGS 2041 (I) r continued to be particularly robust as another €2.45 million (nominal) changed hands today, with the price rising by a further 25 basis points to a new record high of 108 per cent.

www.rizzofarrugia.com

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