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  • The MSE Share Index extended yesterday’s gains as it advanced by a further 0.48% – the sharpest daily uplift since the start of 2017 – to a four-day high of 4,679.298 points.  Today’s rise in the local equity index was largely due to the gains in the share prices of GO (+1.5%), RS2 (+0.8%) and HSBC (+0.1%) which outweighed the 0.5% drop in BOV and MIA. Week-on-week, the local equity benchmark eased 0.23% from last Friday’s near nine-year high as the drops registered in the first three days of the week outweighed the rebound of the past two days. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, following the notable declines in the last two days, the RF MGS Index rebounded by a marginal 0.07% to 1,135.467 points today. Initially, euro zone sovereign yields broadly moved lower this morning. However, the downturn was short-lived as yields started rising once again following the publication of further upbeat inflationary data which showed that the price of goods sold by German manufacturers climbed by 1.0% year-on-year in December 2016 from just 0.1% in the previous month. Furthermore, a survey published by the European Central Bank (ECB) among professional forecasters revealed marginally improved inflation expectations for the Eurozone with inflation expected to reach 1.1% this year, 1.3% in 2018 and 1.5% in 2019. Yesterday, the ECB kept its interest rates unchanged, arguing that the recent hike in inflation in the single currency area is only temporary and largely due to the recent recovery in the price of oil. ECB President Mr Mario Draghi further stated that core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, lacked a convincing upward trend and that it was still well below the ECB’s target of close but below 2%.
  • During this morning’s session, six deals totalling 18,000 shares pushed the equity of GO plc 1.5% higher to a fresh eight-month high of €3.35.
  • Positive movements also in RS2 Software plc as the equity advanced 0.8% to regain the €1.799 level across 37,760 shares. This morning, RS2 revealed that, in line with previous announcements, it has concluded three major agreements for its managed services arm, RS2 Smart Processing Ltd. In Europe, one contract has been signed with a global leader and one of the largest acquirers in payment processing and technology. Furthermore, RS2 signed another two contracts, one with a Latin American company and another with a Canadian company. The announcement noted that the benefits of these three agreements will materialize in the latter part of 2017.
  • HSBC Bank Malta plc inched minimally higher to the €1.951 level across 14,800 shares. The Bank is expected to reveal its 2016 annual results on 21 February 2017. The Directors will also consider the declaration of a final dividend to be recommended during the Annual General Meeting to be held on 13 April 2017.
  • Also in the banking sector, FIMBank plc recaptured the USD0.90 level (+5.9%) across 5,000 shares. The trade finance specialist is due to publish its 2016 financial results on Tuesday 14 March 2017. The Board of Directors will also consider the declaration of a dividend.
  • In the property segment, Malita Investments plc regained the €0.858 level (+0.9%) across 10,500 shares whilst Malta Properties Company plc jumped 6.9% to the €0.589 level albeit on trivial volumes.
  • Shallow volumes were also transacted in the equities of International Hotel Investments plc, Medserv plc and Mapfre Middlesea plc as all three equities ended the day unchanged.
  • Meanwhile, a single deal of just 1,205 shares forced the equity of Malta International Airport plc 0.5% lower back to the €4.10 level. Last week, MIA announced a record number of passenger movements for 2016. The airport operator also presented a set of financial targets for 2017 whilst its 2016 annual results are expected to be published on 22 February 2017.
  • Similarly, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc minimally eased from its all-time high of €7.30 to €7.295 on insignificant volumes.
  • Bank of Valletta plc retreated by 0.5% to the €2.17 level after touching an intra-day high of €2.185 (+0.2%) across a total of 38,017 shares.

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