European stocks were down on Tuesday, as investors responded poorly to earnings from HSBC and BHP Group while trade negotiations between the U.S. and China continue in Washington. The European Stoxx 600 lost 0.4% to 368.32and the FTSE 100 followed, dropping 0.5% to 7,187.13. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.3% to 5,151.31, while Germany’s DAX fell by 0.2% to 11,272.50.

The Maltese market closed in the red, with MSE Equity Total Return Index ending the session 1% lower, to 8,964.2018 points. The biggest gainers were Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, adding 2.99% to close at €8.6. Plaza Centres plc and PG plc also ended the session in the green with increases of 0.98% and 0.73% to close at 1.03 and 1.38 respectively. The biggest faller was Loqus Holdings plc which closed 10.53% lower, to 0.085 while HSBC Bank Malta plc shed 5.17% as it published its disappointing annual results for the year 2018. Bank of Valletta plc, FIMBank plc and International Hotel Investments plc closed unchanged.

HSBC Earnings Report

HSBC reported earnings on Tuesday leaving many investors disappointed. Europe’s largest bank reported pre-tax profit of $19.89 billion which is 15.95 higher than that of a year ago. Revenue came in at $53.78 billion, 4.5% higher than 2017. The company also announced a full year dividend of $0.51 per share but did not announce any share buybacks which the street was expecting.

Despite missing forecasts, the London headquartered firm, said it was happy with these results. The Chief Financial officer of the firm blamed the lower earnings on the sharp sell-off in global market that took place in late 2018.

On the outlook side, the firm said that it is well prepared for all Brexit scenarios and the CEO noted that the plan to move employees to France is still on the table. Following the earnings report the company’s stock fell as much as 4.4%.

Walmart Earnings Report

Another big earnings report was issued by the largest company in the world ranked by employees. The retail giant announced better than expected holiday earnings. Earnings clocked in at $1.41 per share with sales rising to $138.792 billion. Same store sales and e-commerce both rose by 3.35 and a remarkable 43% respectively.

With regards to future expectations the US firm stated that 2020 same-store sales growth should be at between 2.5% and 3%. Following the news the stock was up 3.4% and it also pushed its rival Target up 1.1%.

This article was issued by Aaron Saliba, Junior Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.