US markets closed higher for a third-straight session as investors forgot about their earlier trade worries and focused on better than expected US economic data and strong earnings from Walmart Inc. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 214.66 points, or 0.8%, to 25,862.68 with the S&P 500 index gaining 25.36 points, or 0.9%, to 2,876.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 75.90 points, or 1%, to close at 7,898.05.
European markets reversed earlier gains and closed higher on the back of a string of corporate deals from Germany putting aside trade fears. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.3 percent with Germany’s DAX climbing 1.7 percent. Thyssenkrupp soared with a 9.4% advance after reports that Finland’s Kone might bid for the German group’s elevator division. Kone shares also jumped 5%.
Maltese markets meanwhile edged lower with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing down 0.189% at 9,631.647 points. Shares in RS2 closed down 0.12% whilst Malita Investments Plc led gains with shares closing up 3% to €0.855. HSBC Bank Malta Plc also closed higher, ending up 1.7% at €1.75.
Electric car fires spark concerns
Reports emerged of a fire involving a Tesla in a Hong Kong parking lot and a video on Chinese social media platforms showed a Tesla bursting into flames in a Shanghai garage. Separately, NIO Inc said last month that one of its ES8 vehicles caught fire in the northwestern city of Xi’an while being repaired. Electric vehicles may be less prone to catch fire than gas guzzlers, but these two recent blazes in Greater China are prompting the industry to take steps to alleviate concerns from potential customers in the sector’s biggest market.
In response to the latest incident, Tesla is rolling out an over-the-air software update for two of its vehicles, including the flagship Model S, to improve safety and battery life as it continues investigating the cause of the Hong Kong fire. The action will revise charge and thermal-management settings “out of an abundance of caution,” the company said in a statement, which added that its models are 10 times less likely to experience a blaze than cars that run on combustion engines.
Trump moves against Huawei
The Trump administration has said it would add Huawei Technologies and 70 affiliates to its “Entity List” – a move that will likely ban the firm from acquiring U.S. components and technology without government approval, adding another incendiary element to the U.S.-China trade war. Out of $70 billion Huawei spent for component procurement in 2018, some $11 billion went to U.S. firms including Qualcomm, Intel Corp and Micron Technology Inc, and they could see that revenue disappear.
This latest U.S. broadside against Huawei that puts the Chinese firm on an exports blacklist threatens to rattle the global tech supply chain, linked closely to the $105 billion business of the world’s top supplier of telecoms network equipment. A similar U.S. ban on China’s ZTE Corp had almost crippled business for the smaller Huawei rival early last year before the curb was lifted.
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.