The Dow and the S&P 500 indexes closed at record highs on Friday following a stronger-than-expected jobs report, while investors shrugged off concerns over the Delta variant impacting a nascent economic recovery. Four of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors rose, with financials posting the biggest daily percentage gain since July 20. The S&P 500 technology sector index fell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday rose 144.26 points, or 0.41%, to 35,208.51, the S&P 500 gained 7.42 points, or 0.17%, to 4,436.52 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 59.36 points, or 0.4%, to 14,835.76.

European stocks also inched up to a record close, marking their best week since mid-March on a run of strong quarterly earnings and as hopes of a broader rebound drove buying in economy-linked sectors. The pan-regional STOXX 600 index notched a fifth straight record high to gain 1.8% for the week, ending it at 469.97 points. Bank stocks were the best performers this week, adding 4.4% as positive earnings reports from majors including HSBC and Societe Generale boosted the index.

Maltese markets also ended higher, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing up 0.43 percent at 8,025.668 points. Tigne Mall Plc led the gains with shares jumping 23.97 percent to €0.75, followed by Plaza Centres, up 4.71 percent at €0.89. RS2 Software Plc followed with a 2.33 percent gain to €1.76. The MSE Malta Government Stocks Total Return Index edged up 0.03 percent to 1,116.226 points while the MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index closed unchanged at 1,140.242 points.

Source: Reuters; Malta Stock Exchange

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