The Dow and S&P 500 hit record closing highs on Friday while registering gains for the week, and the Nasdaq recovered after U.S. jobs data eased concerns over prospects for rising rates. U.S. job growth unexpectedly slowed in April, likely restrained by shortages of workers, the Labor Department report showed. The Dow rose 229.23 points, or 0.66%, to 34,777.76, the S&P 500 gained 30.98 points, or 0.74%, to 4,232.6 and the Nasdaq Composite added 119.40 points, or 0.88%, to 13,752.24.

European stocks also closed at a record high, marking strong weekly gains as positive economic data and upbeat earnings underpinned hopes of a swift economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.9%% to a record high of 444.93 points. It added 1.7% this week- its best performance since mid-March. Global stocks rallied to record highs as investors scaled back expectations of policy tapering by the U.S. Federal Reserve, after data showed the U.S. labour market had a long road to recovery from the pandemic.

Maltese markets meanwhile ended mostly flat, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index slipping 0.03 percent to 8,310.761 points. HSBC Bank Malta Plc posted the largest gain, with shares up 0.311 percent at €0.83, followed by Harvest Technology Plc, adding 2.74 percent to €1.50. GO Plc meanwhile posted the largest drop with shares losing 3.35% to €3.46 and weighing on the index. The MSE Malta Government Stocks Total Return Index gained 0.15 percent to 1,124.146 points, with the MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index adding 0.13 percent to 1,121.072 points.

Source: Reuters, Malta Stock Exchange

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