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Markets pull U-turn

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US markets made a sharp last minute turn-around and closed lower on Tuesday, with the major indices erasing their near 4 percent highs seen earlier during the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 26.13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,653.86, while the S&P 500 index retreated 4.27 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,659.41. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 25.98 points, or 0.3 percent, to end the session at 7,887.26.

European markets meanwhile climbed, as traders focused on data showing that the growth rate of the coronavirus spread is slowing. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up 1.9 percent, however off its session high of 3.3 percent. The German DAX gained 2.8 percent while the Spanish IBEX and French CAC 40 both gained 2 percent.

Maltese markets also gained, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing up 0.164 percent at 7,836.606 points however on thin volumes as only four equities moved. Lombard Bank Plc led the gains with shares up 5 percent at €2.10, followed by PG Plc which gained 3.68 percent to €1.69. Trident Estates Plc meanwhile posted the largest loss with shares down 4.48 percent at €1.28.

Fiat-Chrysler aims to restart production

Italian carmaker Fiat Chrysler and unions are discussing plans for beefed-up health measures at Italian plants to pave the way for most profitable production to restart as soon as the government eases a national lockdown. Measures proposed by FCA’s unions include rearranging assembly layouts, staggering shifts, and marking floors to ensure a one-meter distance is kept between workers.

FCA last month introduced a first package of extraordinary measures in its Italian plants, but eventually had to close them after Italian authorities decided to freeze all manufacturing activities deemed non essential in mid-March. The automaker has told unions it aimed to restart operations at three Italian sites as soon as the government lifts its toughest coronavirus restrictions.

Initially involving less than 10,000 workers out of 55,000 in Italy, the company is looking at opening the assembly lines for Jeep’s Compass and new hybrid models at Melfi in southern Italy; Atessa’s plant making light commercial vehicles in central Italy; and preparatory work for the new electric 500 in Turin’s Mirafiori factory.

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.