US markets ended the week lower on Friday after the release of the monthly US employment report showed large job losses in March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 360.91 points, 1.7 percent, to 21,052.53, while the S&P 500 fell 38.25 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,488.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 114.23 points, or 1.5 percent, to close the session at 7,373.08.
European markets also sank, as investors focused on the latest data from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed down 1% with the financial and energy sectors leading the losses. The UK’s FTSE 100 and French CAC 40 were also both down nearly 1% in afternoon trading.
Maltese markets followed the trend also slipped lower, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing down 0.445 percent at 7,862.881 points. HSBC Bank Malta Plc led the losses with shares down 5 percent at €0.95, followed by Lombard Bank Plc which lost 4.76 percent to €2.00. Trident Estates Plc meanwhile posted the largest gain with shares up 5.51 percent at €1.34.
Russia – Opec meeting postponed
OPEC and Russia have postponed a Monday meeting to discuss oil output cuts until April 9, OPEC sources said on Saturday, as a dispute between Moscow and Saudi Arabia over who is to blame for plunging crude prices intensified. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday put the blame for the collapse in prices on Saudi Arabia – prompting a firm response from Riyadh on Saturday.
The Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud disputed Putin’s claims, saying Russia had withdrawn and that statements about the kingdom’s withdrawal from the OPEC+ deal was devoid of truth. OPEC sources later downplayed the Saudi-Russia row, saying the atmosphere was still positive, although there was no draft deal yet nor agreement on details such as a reference level from which to make the production cuts.
Swiss gold refiners reopen
Three of the world’s biggest gold refineries said they will partially reopen after a two week closure that disrupted global supply of the metal. Refiners located near the Swiss border with Italy, Valcambi and Argor-Heraeus, said on Sunday they had received government approval to partially reopen on April 6 while another refiner, PAMP, said on Friday it had permission to restart.
Together they process about 1,500 tonnes of gold a year — equivalent to a third of global supply — and are a key transit point, purifying mined material and reshaping metal moving between markets that require gold in different sizes and shapes.
This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.