Daily Market Highlights (04.08.2011)

  • The MSE Share Index closed in negative territory for the first time this week as most of the active equities including the two large banks (BOV and HSBC) retreated. Lombard was the only positive performer this morning. Volumes continue to remain low as investors remain concerned over the worsening global economic crisis and the political unrest in Libya. Moreover, investors are also waiting for a further 11 companies to issued their 2011 half-year results this month. Meanwhile, international equity markets continued to decline sharply this morning with most European indices hitting fresh 11-month lows. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary .
  • German bond prices snapped a six-day advance with benchmark Eurozone yields marginally recovering to 2.42%. In line with this, the Central Bank of Malta stockbroker decreased Malta Government Stock bid prices following the sharp increase in recent days. Overall, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved marginally lower to 983.131 points.
  • Following the decline in bid prices, the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) fell 27 basis points to 102.68% on volumes of just under €0.5 million. The closing price in the 19-year paper closed below the day’s Central Bank bid price which was initially set at 102.74%. Heavy trading was also evident in the 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) which fell by 22 basis points to 102.76%, equivalent to the initial bid price set by the Central Bank.
  • The monetary policy meetings of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BOE) are being held today. Analysts have stated that a darkening economic backdrop and the threat of further market turmoil have raised the possibility that the BOE’s next move might be to loosen monetary policy rather than tighten it. Economists have also stated that an economic slowdown and debt market turmoil mean the ECB will probably hit “pause” on its interest rate raising cycle for several months and may even signal a readiness to buy bonds again.
  • On the equity market, BOV slipped 0.4% to €2.68 over a single trade totalling 3,000 shares. A further 11,848 shares remain on offer at the €2.69 level with highest bids at €2.65.
  • HSBC also edged 0.03% lower to close at €2.899. Four trades totalling 8,600 shares executed today with further offers unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids still placed at the €2.64 level. Last week the Bank reported a 19.2% increase in profitability to €32.6 million and the Directors declared an interim gross dividend of €0.082 to all shareholders as at the close of trading tomorrow. Further details available here.
  • IHI’s share price traded for the first time this week only to fall by 2.5% to close below the €0.80 level at €0.79. Bids and offers are now both placed at the €0.80 level.
  • Lombard Bank was today’s only positive performer as the equity added 0.8% over 3,400 shares to regain the €2.60 level. The Bank is scheduled to publish its half-year results on 23 August.
  • GO‘s share price fell by a further 0.8% to €1.289 over a single trade totalling 380 shares. Forthnet has remained under pressure and is currently trading at €0.39.