US stocks started the week lower on Monday, as investors turned cautious after a two-month rally from last December’s lows weighed on sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 206.67 points, or 0.8%, to 25,819.65, whilst the S%P 500 index slipped 11.07 points, or 0.4%, to 2,792.62. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 17.79 points, or 0.2%, to 7,577.57.
European markets meanwhile closed higher with the biggest gains coming from France’s CAC 40, which added 0.5% to end the session at 5,293.58. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3% to 375.38 whilst Germany’s DAX was flat at 11,606.62. The UK’s FTSE 100 gained by 0.2% to close at 7,120.98.
Maltese markets also maintained last week’s winning streak with the MSE Total Return Index closing up 0.314% at 9,067.4 points. International Hotel Investments Plc saw the biggest gains after closing up 4.29% at €0.73. RS2 followed closely and ended the session up 2.11% at €1.45. The banks held back the index gains as HSBC and BOV closed lower by 1.23% and 0.79% to end at €1.60 and €1.25 respectively.
Carlos Ghosn granted bail
A Japanese court granted bail to ousted Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn on Tuesday but prosecutors swiftly appealed the decision, delaying an immediate release of the once-feted executive after more than three months in jail. Nissan declined to comment on the bail decision, which comes a day after the head of Ghosn’s new legal team said he was optimistic the executive would be released with a promise to submit to surveillance.
Public opinion likely played a role in the court’s decision to grant bail, along with assurances from Ghosn’s lawyers that he was prepared to be under any restraint, said Shin Ushijima, a former prosecutor and lawyer. The case has cast a harsh light globally on Japan’s criminal justice system, which allows suspects to be detained for long periods and prohibits defense lawyers from being present during interrogations that can last eight hours a day.
Barrick – Newmont takeover
Barrick Gold Corp. plans to proceed with a formal takeover offer for Newmont Mining Corp., undeterred by sharp criticism from the target company. Newmont had raised serious doubts about Toronto-based Barrick’s full merger proposal — a hostile all-share no-premium bid — from the day it was made public Feb. 25. The Barrick bid also led to a round of acrimony from both sides with Barrick’s bid being described as “desperate” and “bizarre”.
Amid the push and pull on the full Barrick-Newmont merger proposal, both sides showed willingness Monday to discuss the idea of a Nevada tie-up. Newmont proposed to give Barrick a 55 percent stake in a joint venture, the Colorado-based miner said in its statement.