The market fell for the fifth time during the past six sessions as sellers continued to offload shares. Nevertheless a few resolute buyers did appear and helped to trim the day's losses.

Bank of Valletta opened at the Lm4.45 level but sellers persisted in their activity forcing the price down by 2.2 per cent to Lm4.35. This level was deemed as a good entry point for other investors who purchased the equity back up to Lm4.42.

HSBC Bank Malta dropped to a three-week low of Lm10.90 during the session. However, here too, fresh buying activity helped to recoup most of the declines. In fact, the equity closed just marginally lower at Lm10.99,9. Two trades executed in rapid succession towards the end of the trading session brought a 2.3 per cent drop to FIMBank's price which closed at the $2.10 level.

Shares of Lombard Bank bucked the trend and recovered its previous session's entire decline to close at Lm11.40.

Malta International Airport declined a full percentage point as 2,000 shares were exchanged across four transactions, down to the Lm1.48,5 level.

For the third consecutive session, no trades where executed in Maltacom, which was due to report its full-year results after the close of the session. Furthermore, the Compliance office of the Malta Stock Exchange advised that as from today's trading session and until further notice the trade ranges of Maltacom would be lifted.

Japan's Topix index closes at 14-year high

The Topix index closed at a 14-year high yesterday, boosted by a rise in the euro against the yen and continuing confidence in Japan's economic recovery. The index finished up 1.7 per cent at 1,775.67 in the highest close since November 1991.

Yesterday's session was the third trading day this week that the Topix had reached a 14-year intraday high. The index crossed that threshold on Monday and Wednesday but failed to close at that level. The Nikkei 225 finished 1.4 per cent higher at a five-year closing high of 17,489.33.

Many export stocks performed strongly - boosted by gains in US technology shares and a rise in the euro to a record high against the yen. Transport equipment jumped 3.1 per cent. Toyota, Japan's biggest carmaker, rose 3.2 per cent to Y6,770. Honda gained 5.7 per cent to Y7,850.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 3 per cent at 1,383.66, while Frankfurt's Xetra Dax was 0.1 per cent higher at 6,038.47. The CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.1 per cent at 5,225.45 and London's FTSE 100 climbed 0.1 per cent to 6,051.1.

Wall Street opened flat, with investors cautious ahead of today's non-farm payrolls and employment data in the US. In early New York trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1 per cent to 11,231.94, while the Nasdaq Composite was unchanged at 2,359.21. The Nasdaq's buoyant performance in the previous session, led by Apple, raised confidence in the European tech sector with Dutch microchip equipment maker ASML gaining 3.2 per cent to €17.16.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us