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Wall Street buoyed by trade hopes

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US markets moved further into record territory on Tuesday, marking their fifth consecutive day of gains after positive economic data and relief from US-China trade tensions lifted stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 31.27 points, or 0.1 percent to 28,267.16 while the S&P 500 index added 1.07 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 3,192.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 9.13 points, or 0.1 percent, to end the session at 8,823.36.

European markets meanwhile took a step back from the recent highs as concerns over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit weighed on the region’s bourses. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index retreated 0.72 percent to 414.76 with Germany’s DAX dropping 0.9 percent to 13,286.79. A weak pound however propped up the UK’s FTSE 100 which closed just 0.04 percent below the flat line at 7,516.10.

Maltese markets also ended slightly lower, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index slipping 0.064 percent to 9,394.341. Bank of Valletta Plc weighed the most on the index with shares down 1.92 percent at €1.02. Malita Investments Plc meanwhile posted the largest gains with shares up 2.78 percent at €0.925, followed by Plaza Centres Plc which gained 1 percent to end at €1.01.

Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot move closer to merger

Automakers Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot PSA announced they had agreed on a binding merger agreement on Wednesday, in a $50 billion deal that will pave the way to the creation of the world’s fourth-largest carmaker. The two boards voted to sign a memorandum of understanding, fixing the financial terms of the deal and the corporate governance structure of the combined company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move marks an important step in solidifying a merger that was announced by the two automakers in October. The tie-up aims to create a $50 billion auto giant that would rank among the world’s largest car companies by sales. The transaction is expected to close in the next 12 to 15 months, the companies added.

France’s Finance Minster, Bruno Le Maire, told reporters that the merger will be good news for France, Europe and also for the care industry. Le Maire also said the French government would continue to ensure that conditions such as maintaining an industrial footprint in France are met by the merging companies.

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.