US markets closed higher on Thursday with energy stocks lifting the indexes after two oil tankers were damaged in suspected attacks off the coast of Iran. Dow Jones Industrial gained 101.94 points, or 0.4 percent, to 26,106.77 whilst the S&P 500 index rose 11.80 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,891.64. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 44.41 points, or 0.6 percent, to end at 7,837.13.
European markets also edged higher as the basic resources sector boosted the region’s bourses. The pan-European STOXX 600 index closing up 0.16 percent while Germany’s DAX gained 0.4 percent on the back of gains in metals and mining companies.
Maltese markets also crept higher with the MSE Equity Total Return Index moving up to 9,786.939 points on the back of gains from Maltapost Plc which jumped 5.7 percent to €1.48. MIDI Plc followed behind with shares closing up 1.7 percent at €0.61.
Fiat Chrysler teams up with European utilities
Car-making giant Fiat Chrysler has signed an agreement with European utilities Enel and Engie to help offer its customers charging points for electric vehicles it is planning to roll out. In a statement, FCA said the main aim of its partnerships with Enel and Engie was to be able to offer private and public charging stations to support the sales of its soon-to-be-launched fully electric Fiat 500 and plug-in hybrid Jeep Renegade.
“We are assembling an eco-system of partners, products and services across multiple markets to meet and exceed the rapidly evolving expectations of our customers for electrified vehicles,” Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Mike Manley said. The company, which is lagging rivals in developing electrified vehicles, said last June it would invest 9 billion euros over the next five years to introduce hybrid and electric cars across all regions.
Crude jumps on oil tanker attack
Oil futures rose after falling sharply on Wednesday, as investors reacted to news of the tanker attacks near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, a key passage for seaborne oil cargoes. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had blamed Iran for the "unprovoked attacks" but Iran dismissed the claim as "unfounded". A senior Iranian official had earlier told the BBC that "Iran has no connection" with the explosions.