U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday as rising commodity prices and labour shortages fed fears that despite reassurances from the U.S. Federal Reserve, near-term price spikes could translate into longer-term inflation. While all three indexes pared their losses from session lows, the sell-off was fairly evenly dispersed across the sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 473.66 points, or 1.36%, to 34,269.16, the S&P 500 lost 36.33 points, or 0.87%, to 4,152.1 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 12.43 points, or 0.09%, to 13,389.43.

European stocks also tumbled from all-time highs, with the travel, retail and technology sectors among the top losers after global sentiment turned risk-averse on worries about rising inflation in the United States. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 2.0%, its biggest percentage decline since late December. The main bourses in Frankfurt, Paris and London all lost more than 2%.European technology shares fell 2% to their lowest in six weeks, while mining firms handed back some of the strong gains notched up in the previous session.

Maltese markets also retreat, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index losing 0.46 percent to 8,277.303 points. RS2 Software Plc led the losses with shares down 4.26 percent at €1.80. Bank stocks also fell, with Bank of Valetta Plc dropping 2.17 percent to €0.90 and HSBC Bank Malta Plc losing 1.22 percent to €0.81. The MSE Malta Government Stocks Total Return Index lost 0.17 percent to 1,121.033 points while the MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index edged up 0.07 percent to 1,122.513 points.

Source: Reuters, Malta Stock Exchange

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