The S&P 500 and Dow rose in a broad-based rally on Friday with technology, healthcare and financial stocks providing the biggest lift as investors bet on a recovery that is expected to deliver the fastest economic growth since 1984. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 453.4 points, or 1.39%, to 33,072.88. The S&P 500 gained 65.02 points, or 1.66%, to 3,974.54 and the Nasdaq Composite added 161.05 points, or 1.24%, to 13,138.73.

European stocks ended the week close to all-time highs, with miners prominent as investors shrugged off worries about a third wave of coronavirus infections and focused on prospects of a solid global economic recovery. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.8% on Friday, just enough to register its fourth straight weekly rise and seven points short of a record high.

Maltese markets meanwhile ended the week lower, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing down 0.95 percent at 7,728.372 points. FIMBank Plc led the losses with shares falling 15.91 percent to $0.37, followed by Malta Properties Company Plc which lost 3.7 percent to €0.52. Medserv Plc posted the largest gain with shares up 8.62 percent at €0.63.

Chip shortage hits carmakers

Stellantis NV and Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio became the latest carmakers to announce new production cuts as a result of a global semiconductor chip shortage. Stellantis said on Friday it will temporarily halt production at five North American plants next week because of the global microchip shortage: two assembly plants in Canada, one in Mexico and two in the United States. The production halts will start next week through early to mid-April.

Nissan Motor Co said Friday it will halt production for two days starting April 1 at its Smyrna Vehicle and Canton Vehicle Assembly Plants and Mexico Aguascalientes plant. Normal production will resume April 6. Meanwhile, Nio, one the main challengers to Tesla, which dominates the electric vehicle (EV) market in China, said it would halt production for five working days at its Hefei plant and cut its first-quarter delivery forecast by as much as 1,000 vehicles.

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