MSE Share Index at new 31-month low

The MSE Share Index today dropped back below the 3,000-point level as declines in most of the active equities during this morning’s trading session forced the local equity benchmark to close 1% lower at a new 31-month low of 2,980.658 points. Nonetheless, shallow trading activity again characterised the trading session.

Amongst the negative performers, HSBC Bank Malta plc slid 1.7% lower to €2.555 ahead of tomorrow’s full-year results publication. Three trades totalling just 1,855 shares were transacted today.

Another large equity by market capitalisation, International Hotel Investments plc also closed in negative territory today as its share price slid 2.5% lower back to the €0.78 level across two trades totalling 2,597 shares. This contrasts with yesterday’s volumes of over 137,000 shares. Similarly, Malta International Airport plc and MaltaPost plc also traded lower with the airport operator easing 0.6% to €1.70 on very thin volumes of 580 shares and the equity of the postal operator sliding 2.1% lower to close below the €0.95 level for the first time since December 2010 across two trades amounting to only 868 shares.

Meanwhile, the only other active equity, Bank of Valletta plc edged 0.2% higher to regain the €2.165 level across six trades totalling 7,596 shares.

This afternoon, Island Hotels Group Holdings plc is scheduled to publish its results covering the financial year ended 31 October 2011.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 987.273 points as Eurozone yields dropped closer to the 1.90% level on new concerns with respect to economic growth following a spike in the rise of oil prices. Moreover, markets are still concern about whether Greece will be able to implement the austerity measures agreed to in the second bailout.