The Maltese market closed in the red on Thursday, with MSE Equity Total Return Index ending the session 0.546% lover, to 9,264.053 points. Top and only gainer was Mapfre Middlesea plc adding 1.75% to close at 2.32. The biggest faller was Malita Investment plc which closed 3.37% lower, to 0.86, followed by Tigne Mall plc and FimBank plc which slid 2.17% and 2.86% to close at 0.9 and 0.68 respectively. Go plc also finished on a negative note by 1.61% to close 4.9. Malta Property Company plc and Trident Estates plc both closed unchanged.
European markets gained on Thursday, as investors prepare for U.K. parliament’s next Brexit vote on whether to extend Britain’s March 29 deadline to leave the European Union. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.5% to 377.43. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed by 0.5% to 7,194.28, while The DAX was flat at 11,570.84. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.5% to 5,334.45.
U.S. stocks closed mostly lower Thursday as investors digested headlines suggesting progress toward a U.S.-China trade deal has stalled against the backdrop of weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained less than 0.01% to close at 25,709.94. The S&P 500 index slipped also less than 0.01% to 2,808.48, and the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.2%, to 7,630.91.
Volkswagen’s ex-CEO faces SEC charges for misleading U.S. investors
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Volkswagen and its former chief executive Martin Winterkorn, alleging the carmaker’s diesel emissions scandal defrauded US investors. The SEC says Volkswagen issued more than $13bn in bonds and asset-backed securities between April 2014 and May 2015 in the US, despite senior executives at the time being aware that 500,000 vehicles in the country exceeded legal limits on vehicle emissions. A Volkswagen spokesman called the case “unprecedented” and “legally and factually flawed”. The company did not miss any payments on the bonds at issue, the spokesman said, adding that no one involved in their issuance knew of the emissions issue. The SEC’s complaint was filed in the District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday.
Parliament backs Brexit deadline
The British Parliament voted to request an extension of the March 29 Brexit deadline on Thursday, concluding key Brexit decisions for this week. The proposal, brought by the government, denotes an extension to June 30 if Parliament can agree on a withdrawal deal by March 20 — next week Wednesday — or else a longer extension. This has in turn led to speculation about whether Prime Minister Theresa May could put her deal to a vote for a third time next week. Lawmakers rejected it twice so far, once in January and once on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Parliament ruled out of any no-deal Brexit at any point.