Share Index reaches 9-year high

The share index extended yesterday’s gains as it advanced by a further 0.31% to a fresh nine-year high of 4,741.747 points reflecting the advances in the share prices of HSBC (+1.3%), GO (+0.8%) and BOV (+0.3%).

On the other hand, Malita Investments and MaltaPost moved lower whilst another five equities closed flat. Week-on-week, the local equity index increased by 0.15% largely reflecting the gains in the share prices of MIA (+3%), GO (+2%) and Farsons (+1.4%).

Bank of Valletta plc closed 0.3% higher at the €2.19,1 level after touching its multi-year high of €2.20. There was high trading activity with 75,640 shares changing hands across 21 deals.

Within the same sector, HSBC rebounded by 1.3% to the €2.04,9 level across 28,592 shares. The bank is scheduled to publish its full-year financial results on February 21.

Ahead of the publication of its 2016 financial results next Tuesday, GO reached a new nine-month high of €3.49,9 (+0.8%). A total of 22,625 shares changed hands.

Also among the large companies by market capitalisation, International Hotel Investments plc and RS2 Software maintained the 65c and €1.69,9 levels respectively on light volumes.

Shallow trading activity also took place in the equities of GlobalCapital, Mapfre Middlesea and Plaza Centres. All three share prices closed unchanged at 41c, €2.23 and €1.10 respectively.

Meanwhile, Malita Investments lost 2.4% to the 81c level across 2,400 shares whilst a single deal of just 2,360 shares pulled the equity of MaltaPost back to the €2 level (-1.9%).

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index erased most of the declines of the previous two days as it rebounded by 0.19% to 1,122.896 points.

Eurozone sovereign yields moved notably lower today possibly in reaction to yesterday’s publication of the minutes of the European Central Bank’s most recent monetary policy meeting which highlighted the concern among policymakers over current political uncertainties across the world.

The ECB Governing Council also acknowledged that scaling back stimulus could risk derailing the inflation progress achieved so far and that underlying inflation (excluding volatile prices like energy) lacks a convincing upward trend.

In fact, the 10-year and the 20-year benchmark German Bund yields plunged to 0.323% and 0.829% respectively from 0.376% and 0.905% yesterday.


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