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Market summary and Week Ahead

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European Markets

Data released on Friday shows that the Eurozone inflation is slowing decreasing the ECB’s appetite to remove stimulus.

European stocks closed marginally higher on Friday with most sectors in the green. Following a stellar earnings result, Sweden’s Electrolux led the household goods to the top of the sector gainers. The banking sector was put under pressure following Deutsche Bank’s results as speculation of a merger with Commerzbank is growing despite posting the first full year’s profit in four years.

US Markets

The Labour department released the Non-farm Payroll numbers on Friday which surprised the market with a considerable beat. The US added 304,000 jobs versus the consensus expectation of 170,000. The news pushed US stocks higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64.22 points, or 0.3%, to end at 25,063.89 whilst the S&P 500 index climbed 2.43 points to 2,706.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 17.87 points, or 0.3%, to close at 7,263.87.

Amazon recorded losses of over 5% on Friday. Despite earnings beating analyst estimates it issued poor guidance for the forthcoming quarter.

Exxon Mobil rose on Friday following a better than expected earnings result. The company recorded an increase in oil production reversing the market trend of falling output.

Maltese Markets

The MSE Equity price index saw gains of 0.18% on Friday with Simonds Farsons Cisk, Trident Estates and Mapfre Middle Sea in the green. Bank of Valletta continued its steady decline with a loss of 0.8%.

The Week Ahead

Whilst earnings season is beginning to wind down, investors still have reserved slots in their corporate calendars for Google parent company Alphabet and Twitter’s quarterly statements due on Monday and Thursday respectively. Other names to keep a look out for will be BP, which is due to publish its figures on Tuesday and GlaxoSmithKline, scheduled to release its numbers on Wednesday, along with General Motors.

On the economic calendar, key events include announcements on the US Trade balance and Q4 GDP growth which is expected on Wednesday, followed by the Bank of England’s decision on interest rates due on Thursday. Further events include announcements on US non-manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), the UK services PMI and an Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) policy statement scheduled throughout the week.