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Market Commentary

European stock prices improved following the appreciation of major European indices as investors awaited data on U.S. durable-goods amid hopes that the European Central Bank (ECB) and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) could provide monetary stimulus to boost economic growth.

Euro Stoxx 600 Index pushed higher reaching the highest level in three weeks, as all major European indices recorded gains. This upward trend was the follow up to a strong end to Tuesday’s trading session.

As US data showed that consumer confidence hit a six-year high in March, positive sentiment rose across major stock markets with U.S. stocks rising, ending a two-day negative trend.

Asian shares followed suit this morning as markets reached two-week highs, with investor confidence getting a boost from positive U.S. data and diminishing concerns over the Russian crisis.

Investor concerns over tensions between Russia and Ukraine seem to have lessened, as the US and its allies looked ready to hold off on further sanctions unless President Vladimir Putin goes beyond the seizure of Crimea. Following an unexpected meeting between Russian and Ukrainian representatives, investor worries diminished further as the chances of an armed conflict decreased.

Despite a downgrade by Standard & Poor’s of Brazil’s credit rating Brazilian shares still edged higher as did the MSCI emerging equities index .MSCIEF also which rose to a two-week high.

Similarly Indian shares .BSESN hit a record high and the rupee also rose to an eight-month high on hopes of more foreign investment inflows.

Local

The MSE Share Index yesterday fell 0.5% to 3,487.405 points.

RS2 Software shares improved by 0.8% to a new high of €2.43.

BOV fell by 0.9% to a fresh 6-month low of €2.20.

Lombard fell by 1.8% to €1.67

Middlesea Insurance fell 9.1% to €0.90.

No change was recorded in the share price of Medserv, MIA, GO, Maltapost and FIMBank. Prices remained unchanged at €1.30, €2.27, €2.05, €1.10 and USD0.842 respectively.

The Calamatta Cuschieri Traders Blog is available daily on CC WebTrader. Other market coverage including coverage of the International Bond Markets is also available.

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