PAKISTAN INDEX SHEDS 72 POINTS
Pakistan stocks, after two strong bullish sessions, ended in red at the weekend due to institutional profit-taking, consequently benchmark KSE-100 closed 72 points down or 0.15 percent at 49,623 level.
Institutional profit taking witnessed at PSX amid consolidation post major earning announcements. Weak sentiments remained in the trading session on renewed concerns for foreign outflows, surging circular debt in the energy sector and dismal payouts in the earnings season.
Overall, volumes declined by 1.5 percent to 392 million shares, while value declined by 2.8 percent Rs 17.2 billion/ $163 million. On the volume leaders’ chart Lotte Chemical remained on the top with 60 million shares traded followed by Azgard Nine 37.62 million, Silk Bank 33.74 million, K-Electric 21.51 million, and 17.82 million shares of Power Cement changed hands at the bourse.
US STOCKS MARGINALLY HIGHER
US stocks were marginally up on Friday, as investors focused on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech for clues on the possibility of an interest rate hike later this month. Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the S&P 500 financial index leading the gainers.
High-dividend paying consumer staples and utilities were the laggards. Traders have priced in a 76 percent chance of a rate hike this month, compared with roughly 30 percent at the start of the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 22.32 points, or 0.11 percent, at 21,025.29, the S&P 500 was up 0.33 points, or 0.014 percent, at 2,382.25 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 3.94 points, or 0.07 percent, at 5,865.16.
BRITAIN’S TOP SHARE INDEX RETREATS
Britain’s top share index retreated on Friday, weighed down by a raft of disappointing earnings updates as well as weakness in the mining sector.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.3 percent at 7,358.97 points having hit a record high in the previous session. The index, however, was still on course to post its biggest weekly gain since mid-January, helped by fresh sterling weakness. Weak earnings dampened the mood. WPP, the world’s largest advertising group, saw its shares drop more than 6 percent after the firm expressed concerns about the outlook for 2017, cutting its sales forecasts on the back of a bleak economic environment.
EUROPEAN STOCKS DROP
European shares dropped on Friday following disappointing company updates, with WPP falling after giving a cautious outlook and Berendsen plunging on its results.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.3 percent after briefly climbing to a 15-month high in the previous session. However, the benchmark index is up more than 1 percent so far this week and headed for a positive weekly close.
WPP shares were down nearly 7 percent after the world’s largest advertising group said it had a relatively slow start to 2017 and would plan conservatively for the year ahead after hitting its 2016 target for net sales growth. Workwear and hygiene company Berendsen slumped 16.7 percent, the biggest faller in the STOXX 600 index, after its financial results and outlook statement.
Gemalto shares rose 5 percent, top gainers in the STOXX 600 index, after the digital security company said its profits from operations rose 7 percent in 2016. Across Europe, Germany’s DAX was down 0.3 percent, while Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent.
EMERGING EQUITIES DECLINE
Emerging equities fell 1 percent on Friday and several currencies were set to end the week on a sour note, hit by jitters over a looming US interest rate rise and stalling commodity prices.
MSCI’s emerging equity benchmark is on track for its steepest weekly loss since mid November, snapping a five-week winning streak.
Bourses in Turkey, Russia and South Africa all fell around half a percentage point. Heavyweight Korea dropped 1.2 percent and hit a two-week low amid reports that China had ordered tour operators to stop selling trips to the country amid rising tensions about the deployment of a US missile-defense system.
INDIA’S BSE STOCKS DOWN
Shares of BSE Ltd, Asia’s oldest stock exchange, have lost more than 17 percent since listing a month ago—a fact analysts attribute to its strong opening-day gain that left little room for an extended rally.
BSE shares fell on Friday for the seventh straight session, shedding 3.35 percent on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday to close at Rs890.70.
The stock is down 17.1 percent from its listing date on 3 February. It is still 10.51 percent above its issue price of Rs806. In the same period, NSE’s 50-share Nifty index has risen 1.8 percent, while Nifty Mid100 Free and Nifty Sml100 Free indices rose 2.05 percent and 1.09 percent, respectively. The BSE stock gained around 33 percent on its listing day.
ENERGY SHARES BOOST TSX
Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, led by the energy group as oil prices recovered some lost ground, while financial shares seesawed ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 16.52 points, or 0.11 percent, at 15,553.17, shortly after the open. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were higher.