US STOCKS DECLINE AS APRIL RETAIL SALES MISS EXPECTATIONS
Wall Street stocks dipped in early trade Friday following disappointing US retail sales data for April and weak earnings from leading department store chains.
US retail sales rose 0.4 percent last month, less than then the 0.6 percent pickup expected by analysts.
US stocks face pressure due to the lofty state of equity valuations.
About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 20,876.59, down 0.2 percent. The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent to 2,390.15, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.1 percent to 6,112.90.
BRITAIN’S TOP SHARE INDEX SETS AT RECORD HIGH
Britain’s top share index set a record close on Friday, sealing its strongest week since December as pharmaceutical stock AstraZeneca rose on a positive drug trial and broker upgrades buoyed individual firms.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index finished the week 0.5 percent higher at 7,435.39 points, a record close and flirting with its record intraday levels of mid-March. The index was up 1.9 percent on the week, its biggest weekly gain since December.
KSE-100 TREKS HIGHER, CLOSES AT 51,750.91
As the MSCI reclassification date comes closer, financiers continued to showcase their excitement with Friday’s session being no different.
Driven by index-names, the KSE-100 Index continued to end at record high levels, putting days of political unrest behind it.
At close, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 324.90 points, or 0.63 percent, to finish at 51,750.91. It is said that the Pakistan equities closed the week higher helped by gains in index names that pushed benchmark KSE-100 Index over new record level of 51,700.
Major contribution to Index came from Engro Corp (ENGRO, +1.8%), followed by MCB Bank (MCB, 2%), Oil & Gas Development (OGDC, +1.4%), Pakistan State Oil (PSO,+2.5%) and Hub Power (HUBC ,+1.3%).
Overall, trading volumes fell to 346 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 397 million. Shares of 389 companies were traded.
At the end of the day, 197 stocks closed higher and 169 declined while 23 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs18.7 billion. Summit Bank was the volume leader with 34.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.78 to close at Rs7.08.
SRI LANKA SHARES HIGHER
Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the end on Friday, as gains in the Information Technology, Services and Palm Oil sectors led shares higher.
At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share added 0.08 percent to hit a new 6-month high. The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were PC House PLC, which rose 100.00 percent or 0.100 points to trade at 0.200 at the close.
Meanwhile, PC Pharma PLC added 50.00 percent or 0.1000 points to end at 0.3000 and Kalamazoo Systems PLC was up 25.00 percent or 250.00 points to 1250.00 in late trade.
The worst performers of the session were Huejay International Investments PLC, which declined 19.31 percent or 10.10 points to trade at 42.20 at the close. Nanda Investments and Finance PLC declined 10.00 percent or 2.00 points to end at 18.00 and Convenience Foods (Lanka) PLC was down 5.79 percent or 19.70 points to 320.30.
TOKYO SHARES END LOWER
Tokyo stocks finished lower Friday, hit by a strong yen and profit taking, with traders awaiting earnings from a string of companies including auto maker Suzuki and cosmetics firm Shiseido.
The Nikkei 225 index has come within spitting distance of the 20,000 level in recent days but has been unable to breach it, last closing above the psychologically significant mark in December 2015.
The Nikkei ended the day 0.39 percent, or 77.65 points, lower at 19,883.90, but it still gained 2.25 percent over the week. The broader Topix index of all first-section issues lost 0.39 percent, or 6.15 points, to close at 1,580.71. It rose 1.96 percent this week.
HONG KONG SHARES HAVE BEST WEEK IN 2-MONTH
Hong Kong stocks hovered near 21-month highs on Friday, and recorded their biggest weekly gain in 2-month, helped by continuous inflows from mainland China.
The Hang Seng index on Friday increased 0.1 percent, to 25,156.34, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.2 percent, to 10,282.65 points.
For the week, the Hang Seng gained 2.8 percent, while HSCE increased 2.6 percent. Sentiment was somewhat hurt by a downbeat day on Wall Street but Chinese financiers on Friday continued to lend support, using 23 percent of the daily quota under the southbound leg of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect to buy Hong Kong shares. Market performance was mixed, with materials and utility shares declining, while IT stocks firmed. Shares of China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings Ltd slumped over 8 percent to the lowest in nearly 5-week, after unveiling a $112.9 million share sale plan.