The Nasdaq ended sharply lower on Tuesday as investors dumped megacap growth stocks to seek shelter in more defensive parts of the market, amid concerns on rising interest rate and uncertainty over an upcoming jobs report. Highly valued technology-related companies including Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc, Inc and Facebook Inc sold off across the board, with Apple falling the most by 3.54%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average pared its earlier losses and closed slightly higher, rising 19.8 points, or 0.06%, to 34,133.03. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 261.62 points, or 1.88%, to 13,633.50, while the S&P 500 lost 28 points, or 0.67%, to 4,164.66.

European shares ended lower, with the technology sector having their worst day since late-October after a sudden drop in big U.S. tech stocks. The pan-European STOXX 600 index shed 1.4%, with tech stocks losing 3.8% and some analysts attributing the drop to profit taking. In Europe, Germany’s bourse shed 2.5%, the most in the region, due to its high composition of tech stocks. Tech stocks are trading near record highs on a stellar earnings season and broader optimism over an economic recovery.

Maltese stocks also pulled lower, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index dropping 1.26 percent to 8,210.718 points, as the MSE Malta Government Stocks Total Return Index closed virtually unchanged and the MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index gained 0.15 percent to 1,120.200 points. International Hotel Investments Plc led the losses with shares down 8.09 percent at €0.625. HSBC Bank Malta Plc followed with a 4.17 percent drop to €0.805 along with 4 other stocks. GO Plc was the only gainer, with shares ending up 3.45 percent at €3.60.

Source: Reuters, Malta Stock Exchange

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