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The Week Ahead


US markets ended the week higher on Friday, with indexes setting fresh records on the back of 3.2% GDP growth, above expectations of 2.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 79 points, or 0.1% to end at 26,543.33, with the S&P 500 advancing 0.5% to 2,940. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.3% to end the week at 8,146.

European markets meanwhile reversed earlier losses and closed higher, driven by strong earnings and the US GDP growth figures. The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.2 percent, lifted by gains in the healthcare and financial sectors.

Maltese markets also moved higher, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing up 0.352% at 9,483.885 points. The biggest gains were seen from Lombard Bank Malta Plc which recovered from Thursday’s losses and jumped 5.31% to €2.38. Maltapost Plc followed closely behind with gains of 4.2%, ending at €1.25.

Boeing CEO faces shareholders

Boeing Co Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg will face shareholders for the first time since the two fatal crashes that led to the 737 MAX’s worldwide grounding and sharp loss in share value. Muilenburg will hold his first press conference after the annual general shareholder meeting in scheduled in Chicago on Monday, during which he will try to bolster investor confidence in the manufacturer’s future as well as that of its fastest-selling airplane as questions linger over the model’s safety.

Boeing is under pressure to deliver a software fix and a new pilot training package that will convince global regulators, and the flying public that the aircraft is safe to fly again. Last week Boeing abandoned its 2019 financial outlook, halted share buybacks and said lowered production due to the 737 MAX grounding had cost it at least $1 billion so far.

The Week Ahead

The Federal Reserve’s policy setting committee will begin their two-day meeting on Tuesday, where they are expected to hold interest rates steady. The meeting will be the first since the Fed lowered its rate outlook for 2019.

The UK’s central bank will set interest rates and update its economic projections on Thursday, as Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, addresses the media.

Officials from the world’s two largest economies continue their talks over trade as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing beginning on April 30, followed by a visit by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to Washington for more discussions starting on May 8.