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WALL STREET PARES GAINS AFTER DONALD OUTLINES TAX PLAN

US stocks pared gains on Wednesday after President Donald Trump’s administration called for slashing tax rates but offered few details about how to pay for tax cuts without expanding the federal deficit. The plan proposed a 20 percent corporate income tax rate, a new 25 percent tax rate for pass-through businesses including partnerships and a reduced 35 percent top income tax rate for individual Americans.

Six of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, led by a 1.17 percent gain in the financial index. Shares of big banks, including Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, were up about 2 percent on rising bets of a third interest rate hike this year following Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments on Tuesday.

At 10:41 a.m. ET (1441 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 14.21 points, or 0.06 percent, at 22,298.53, the S&P 500 was up 2.58 points, or 0.10 percent, at 2,499.42 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 31.95 points, or 0.5 percent, at 6,412.11. A 0.78 percent rise in Apple’s shares was the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq, while Goldman Sachs propped up the Dow.

KSE-100 ENDS 5TH SESSION IN THE RED

The KSE-100 Index succumbed to political noise on Wednesday, ending negative for the fifth successive session with a minor recovery helping stocks at the end of the session.

The KSE-100 began to drop from the word go and maintained a steady decline throughout the day. After a fall of over 550 points in intra-day trading, investors opted to cherry pick at attractive valuations, helping the KSE-100 finish with a minor recovery.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a fall of 376.08 points or 0.88 percent to stand at 42,290.15. Overall, trading volumes rose slightly to 146 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 145 million. Shares of 382 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 97 stocks closed higher, 264 declined while 21 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.4 billion. K-Electric was the volume leader with 13.6 million shares, losing Rs0.19 to close at Rs6.75. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 13.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs3.54 and Bank of Punjab with 11.7 million shares, losing Rs0.02 to close at Rs9.24. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs479 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

TOKYO STOCKS SOAR ON CHEAPER YEN

Tokyo stocks firmed on Thursday, supported by a cheaper yen and tracking gains on Wall Street after President Donald Trump unveiled plans to slash corporate tax in a sweeping fiscal reform. The bellwether Nikkei 225 index gained 0.47 percent, or 96.06 points, to 20,363.11, while the broader Topix index was up 0.71 percent, or 11.74 points, at 1,676.17. After the major three US index gained overnight, the Nikkei index began the day with buy orders leading the way.

With the dollar hovering around 113 yen, the index again headed north in the afternoon session. The dollar fetched 112.99 yen, up from 112.79 yen in New York and 112.46 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

EUROPEAN SHARES MARKETS RISE

Europe’s main stock markets rose at the start of trading on Wednesday, with London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index up 0.2 percent to 7,301.88 points.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index climbed 0.2 percent to 12,630.40 points and the Paris CAC 40 won 0.2 percent to 5,281.30 compared with the closing level on Tuesday.

CANADA’S MAIN INDEX RISES; BOMBARDIER SINKS

Canada’s main stock index opened higher on Wednesday, despite a sharp drop in shares of Bombardier Inc after it was hit by steep US anti-subsidy duties, as financial and energy stocks gained.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 33.09 points, or 0.21 percent, at 15,507.21 shortly after the open. Bombardier fell 10 percent.

SRI LANKAN STOCKS STEADY; CEYLON TOBACCO DECLINES

Sri Lankan stocks ended flat on Wednesday as the gains driven by manufacturing shares were offset by losses mainly in beverage companies.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.12 points weaker at 6,419.47. Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 2.9 percent, while biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 1.01 percent down.

Richard Pieris Plc rose 14.4 percent and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc ended 2.1 percent firmer. Turnover stood at 738.3 million rupees ($4.82 million), compared with this year’s daily average of about 916 million rupees.

Foreign investors bought a net 86.9 million rupees worth of shares on Wednesday extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 17.7 billion rupees worth of equities. On Tuesday, the Sri Lankan central bank held its key rates steady, saying past steps were keeping inflation and credit growth under control, as policymakers focus on supporting an economy hit by extreme weather.

HONG KONG STOCKS HIGHER

Hong Kong stocks ended higher on Wednesday ahead of the release of Donald Trump’s tax reform plan while property firms enjoyed a recovery after recent heavy selling.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.47 percent, or 129.42 points, to 27,642.43. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.05 percent, or 1.69 points, to 3,345.27 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, rose 0.78 percent, or 15.25 points, to 1,979.28.

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