MSE Share Index rounds off a positive week at 2-year high

The MSE Share Index rounded off a positive week with a fourth consecutive increase to end this shortened week at a 2-year high. The local equity benchmark edged a further 0.2% higher to 3,390.775 points representing a 0.8% increase over the week despite dwindling volumes. A total of €0.47 million changed hands this week representing the lowest weekly volumes this year.

During this morning’s session, Bank of Valletta plc edged 0.7% higher to €2.265 across eight trades totalling 34,716 shares. Similarly, new bids helped GO plc recover this week’s earlier losses to climb by 2% and regain the €1.55 level on low volumes of 2,800 shares.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc also closed in positive territory today with the equity jumping 2.3% to a new all-time high of €2.65 on a single deal of 500 shares. One trade was also executed in Grand Harbour Marina plc with 2,000 shares changing hands at the €1.95 level (just below the equity’s 2013 high of €1.98), representing a 5.4% increase over the previous close.

On the other hand, the share price of RS2 Software plc slipped 4.3% back to the €1.11 on low volumes of 2,687 shares. The IT Company is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting next Wednesday 12 June.

Similarly, Middlesea Insurance plc and Plaza Centres plc eased lower on shallow trading activity. Middlesea shares slid by 3.6% to the €0.81 level on 400 shares and Plaza declined by 1.8% back to the €0.56 level on low volumes of 1,275 shares.

Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc and Lombard Bank Malta plc ended this morning’s session unchanged at the €2.69 and €1.70 level respectively.

In the small cap segment, Crimsonwing plc also held on to the €0.58 level across 8,500 shares and MaltaPost plc traded unchanged at the €1.05 level on low volumes of 1,000 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 1,020.489 points as Eurozone yields slipped closer to the 1.5% level on the back of renewed appetite for ‘safe-haven’ bunds in view of the uncertainty on whether the US Federal Reserve will be curbing its quantitative easing program in the near term.

Meanwhile, this afternoon the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it will be maintaining its main interest rate at a historically low 0.5% given the stabilisation of the Eurozone (as confirmed by recently published data) which should pave the way for the gradual recovery later in 2013 in line with the ECB’s forecasts.

Similarly, the indications of a recovering UK economy led the Bank of England to maintain its benchmark rate at the historically low 0.5% and also keep its stimulus measures unchanged.