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Markets retreat on virus fears

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US markets started the week lower on Monday as stocks sank from worries that the coronavirus’ spread beyond China could impact global economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1,031.60 points, or 3.6 percent, to 27,960.80, whilst the S&P 500 fell 111.86 points, or 3.4 percent, to 3,225.89. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 355.31 points, or 3.7 percent, to end the session at 9,221.28.

European stocks also fell on virus fears, with Italian and airline stocks taking the biggest hit. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 4 percent and Italy’s FTSE MIB index closed 5.8 percent lower as the number of confirmed virus cases in Italy reached more than 150 by Monday. Germany’s DAX France’s CAC 40 and the UK’s FTSE 100 all closed lower.

Maltese markets also came under pressure as the MSE Equity Total Return Index closed down 1.263 percent at 9,397.920. Malta International Airport Plc led the losses with shares down 5.07 percent at €6.55, followed by International Hotel Investments Plc which lost 5 percent to close at €0.76.

Revolut reaches $5.5 billion

Digital banking app Revolut has raised $500 million in a fresh funding round, confirming the British-based business as one of the world’s most valuable financial technology firms with a valuation of $5.5 billion. The firm, which employs 2,000 people, said it would use the fresh funding to roll out new products including lending and to expand further in Europe.

Revolut is accelerating its expansion overseas and has expanded partnerships with payments firms Visa and Mastercard. Revolut, which has attracted more than 10 million customers since its launch in 2015, will open its virtual doors in America this year. It offers money management tools and attempts to undercut traditional banks on pricing for foreign exchange, stock trading and money transfers.

Amazon launches cashier-less grocery stores

The world’s biggest online retailer on Tuesday is set to open ‘Amazon Go Grocery,’ a store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill with four times the shopping space as the first cashier-less location it opened to the public in January 2018. The concept targets customers in residential neighbourhoods rather than office workers, whom the smaller Amazon Go convenience stores serve.

As with Amazon’s convenience stores, customers scan an ‘Amazon Go’ smartphone app on a gated turnstile to enter and start shopping. Hundreds of ceiling cameras and shelf weight censors ascertain what customers add to their carts, and their on-file credit cards are billed once they leave the store – no cashiers or checkout lines necessary.

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.