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Markets jump on trade talks


US markets finished at near 6-month highs after President Donald Trump tweeted that he had a productive conversation with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 353.01 points, or 1.4 percent at 26,465.54, with the S&P 500 rising 28.08 points, or 1 percent at 2,917.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 108.86 points, or 1.4 percent to end the session at 7,953.88.

European markets also rose on the back of European Central Bank Chief, Mario Draghi’s dovish remarks on the possibility of new rate cuts or asset purchases if inflation did not return to its targets. The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 1.8 percent higher with Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 both climbing over 2 percent. The Eurozone’s exporters enjoyed a significant boost from weakness in the bloc’s single currency.

Maltese markets meanwhile moved lower, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing down 0.118 percent at 9,900.466 points. Bank of Valletta Plc led the gains with shares closing down 1.59 percent at €1.24. MIDI Plc however posted the biggest gains with shares up 3.28 percent at €0.63, following by International Hotel Investments Plc which registered a gain of 2.22 percent to close at €0.92.

Airbus strikes new 50-plane deal

European planemaker, Airbus struck a 50-plane deal with veteran low-cost airline investor Bill Franke on Wednesday, bouncing back from the potential loss of a major customer a day earlier when IAG placed a lifeline order for Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX jet. Airbus also said on Wednesday it had reached a preliminary deal to sell 11 A321neos to Taiwan’s China Airlines, snatching the renewal of the airline’s medium-haul fleet from Boeing.

The planes will be allocated to Hungary’s Wizz Air, U.S. carrier Frontier Airlines and Chile’s JetSMART, in which Bill Franke’s Indigo Partners owns stakes. Industry experts estimate the deal for the 32 aircraft could be valued at around $4.5 billion, based on a slight premium to the A321neo’s list price of $129.5 million, although most airlines get significant discounts.

Geely – Zenuity joint venture

China’s Geely has picked Zenuity, a joint venture between its Volvo car marque and Swedish technology group Veoneer, as its preferred supplier for assisted and self-driving software. Zenuity, whose customers include Volvo and Geely Auto, employs more than 600 people and in January won an approval to begin hands-free testing of its software for self-driving Volvos on Swedish highways. It is competing with larger rivals in self-driving technology, where U.S. companies are leading the way.

Eager to curb smog and jump-start its own auto industry, China has said it wants so-called new energy vehicles (NEVs) – which also include hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars – to account for a fifth of auto sales by 2025 compared with 5% now.

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.