DOW JONES STAYS ABOVE 20,000
US stocks were little changed on Thursday as investors paused following a two-day rally that pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average above the 20,000 mark, while the latest wave of earnings rolled in. Qualcomm weighed on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq as the chipmaker fell 5.0 percent to $54.05 after posting a lower-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue.
Of the 146 companies that have reported earnings through Thursday morning, 69.2 percent have topped expectations, compared with the 63.6 percent average since 1994.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 32.40 points, or 0.16 percent, to close at 20,100.91, the S&P 500 lost 1.69 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,296.68 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.16 points, or 0.02 percent, to 5,655.18. The S&P 500 posted 64 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 150 new highs and 23 new lows.
EUROPEAN STOCKS LOWER
European shares pulled back on Friday with UBS dragging bank stocks lower after posting a drop in full-year profit, while Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco surged after a 3.7 billion-pound take-over deal to buy a supplier.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.3 percent at its close, while the UK’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent, supported by Tesco, which soared 9.3 percent after agreeing to buy wholesale supplier Booker in a deal that cements its dominant position in the UK.
In spite of Friday’s weakness, the STOXX 600 remains close to its highest level in more than one year and ended the week with a gain of around 1 percent. According to J.P. Morgan, 59 percent of the STOXX companies that have reported so far beat earnings per share estimates, with growth running at 11 percent year-on-year, while more than two thirds beat revenue forecasts.
STOCKS PARE GAINS AT PSX
Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Friday witnessed a highly volatile session due to impact of rollover week that dented the investor sentiment.
The market started on a positive note and the benchmark KSE-100 index hit 50,887.61 points intra-day high, up 695.25 points. The local investors and institutions opted to offload their holdings to book profit on available margins.
Foreign investors remained net buyers of shares worth $1.9 million. Trading activity improved as the daily trading volumes on ready counter increased to 597.964 million shares as compared to 449.717 million shares traded Thursday. The market capitalization decreased by Rs 57 billion to stand at Rs 9.946 trillion. Out of total 421 active scrips, 259 closed in negative, 149 in positive while the value of 13 stocks remained unchanged. K-Electric was the volume leader with 165.252 million shares.
TOKYO SHARES HIGHER
Tokyo stocks ended higher Friday with banks leading the charge while exporters were boosted by a slide in the yen. It was the Japanese market’s third straight rise, as the Dow on Thursday extended gains after breaking 20,000 for the first time on Wednesday.
Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended the day 0.34 percent, or 65.01 points, higher at 19,467.40. It gained 1.72 percent over the week. The Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.27 percent, or 4.24 points, to end at 1,549.25. It tacked on 1.03 percent this week.
HONG KONG SHARES SLIP
Hong Kong stocks slipped on Friday, ending four straight days of gains but only easing slightly from three-month highs as investors took profit ahead of the holiday weekend.
The market had opened firmer, underpinned by the Dow Jones Industrial Average holding above 20,000 points after breaching that level for the first time in the previous session.
The benchmark Hang Seng index slid 0.06 percent in a half-day session, to 23,360.78. The China Enterprises Index slid 0.51 percent, to 9,804.05 points. The Hang Seng was up 2.1 percent for the week, and jumped 6.2 percent for the month. While the China Enterprises Index gained 0.9 percent for the week and was up 4.4 percent in January.
INDIAN SHARES POST BIGGEST WEEKLY GAIN IN 8 MONTHS
Indian shares rose for a fourth consecutive sesssion on Friday to post their biggest weekly gain in eight months, helped by a rally in financial firms and optimism ahead of the annual federal budget next week.
The broader NSE index ended 0.45 percent higher at 8,641.25. It gained 3.50 percent on the week. The benchmark BSE index closed up 0.63 percent at 27,882.46. It posted a weekly gain of 3.14 percent. Both indexes posted their biggest weekly gains since the week ended May 27, 2016.
SRI LANKAN STOCKS SURGE
Sri Lankan stocks ended firmer on Friday, moving further away from a near 10-month low, as investors picked up beaten down shares, including beverages and diversified counters.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.12 percent higher at 6,137.70, further moving away from its lowest close since April 4 hit on Wednesday. The index however fell 0.52 percent on week, its second straight weekly fall. Market heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc rose 1.52 percent, a day after it posted a 32 percent rise in December-quarter profit.
AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND STOCKS CLIMB
Australian shares ended higher on Friday with financials leading the gains after all three major indices on Wall Street hit life-time intraday highs.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.8 percent or 42.49 points to finish the session at 5,714.00. The index recorded a 1 percent gain this week after two weeks of losses. As the market resumed trading after the Australia Day holiday, investors played catch-up after the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 20,000 points for the first time on Wednesday.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3 percent or 20.93 points to finish the session at 7,134.26, its highest close since October 7. The stock index ended the week 1.2 percent higher extending gains into a sixth week.