The S&P 500 ended little changed on Wednesday but off its session lows after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economic recovery remains on track and Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank was still a ways away from considering raising interest rates. The Nasdaq ended higher and shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc hit an all-time high as a surge in advertising spending helped it post record quarterly results. The stock ended up 3.2%.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 127.59 points, or 0.36%, to 34,930.93, the S&P 500 lost 0.82 point, or 0.02%, to 4,400.64 and the Nasdaq Composite added 102.01 points, or 0.7%, to 14,762.58.

European stocks gained as encouraging earnings reports from British bank Barclays and luxury group Kering helped investors look past worries about China’s regulatory crackdown that kept markets on edge this week. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7% after two sessions of declines. The tech sector was propped up by a 3.8% rise in Capgemini after the French consulting and IT services provider raised its 2021 outlook. French luxury group Kering rose 3.6% as second-quarter sales nearly doubled, with its star fashion label Gucci accelerating sharply.

Maltese markets also ended higher, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing up 0.21 percent at 7,819.227 points. Only 3 stocks traded, with Malta International Airport plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc posting the only gains, up 3.33 percent at €6.20 and 1.22 percent at €0.83 respectively. Bank of Valletta plc meanwhile lost 2.22 percent to €0.88. MSE Malta Government Stocks Total Return Index gained 0.07 percent to 1,119.249 points while the MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index added 0.05 percent and closed at 1,135.426 points.

Source: Reuters, Malta Stock Exchange

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