The MSE Share Index closed lower for the third consecutive session with a further 0.2 per cent drop to 3,316.567 points mainly due to the 1.4% decline in Bank of Valletta plc to €2.26,5 on lower levels of support for the bank’s equity.

Following the heavy volumes of 111,000 shares that traded yesterday, activity declined to 21,480 shares today.

Malta International Airport plc also closed in negative territory with a 0.6 per cent decline to the €1.80 level on volumes of just over 5,000 shares. The airport operator is scheduled to publish its 2012 full-year results on March 20.

Likewise, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc shares (active for the first time in almost a week) slid 1.9% lower from its all-time high of €2.60 back to the €2.55 level on high volumes amounting to almost 52,000 shares.

Furthermore, a single trade of 100,000 MaltaPost plc shares was transacted at the €1.03 level representing a 1.9% drop from the previous close.

On the other hand, HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered some of its recent declines with a 0.7% increase to regain the €2.75 level across four trades totalling 7,000 shares. Tomorrow marks the last day for investors to gain entitlement to the final dividend of 7c9 per share as the equity turns ex-dividend as from Thursday.

FIMBank plc’s share price also edged 2% higher to regain the $1.02 level on volumes of just over 9,000 shares. The equity of the trade finance specialist is also trading with the entitlement to the recently declared final net dividend of 3.69USc per share until March 26.

Similarly, RS2 Software plc shares edged 1.1% higher to regain its all-time high of 91c on volumes of 17,375 shares.

Meanwhile all other six active equities ended this morning’s session unchanged.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index inched minimally lower to 1,010.062 points as the benchmark 10-year German Bund yield this morning continued to trade around the 1.5% level.

However, by this afternoon the benchmark Eurozone yields slipped back to 1.475% after the head of Germany’s central bank stated that the Eurozone crisis is not over as France’s reforms are slipping. Investor sentiment was also rattled by the steepest fall in UK manufacturing output since June last year.

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