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PAKISTAN STOCKS TAKE A BREATHER AS INDEX RISES MARGINALLY

The trading session provided some respite to the battered stock exchange despite volatile trading on Thursday with value buying in the opening and closing hours overcoming selling pressure to take the market up a notch.

Ongoing political uncertainty also continued to dent investor interest amid thin trading in stocks listed on the KSE-100 index. At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index registered a rise of 7.49 points or 0.02 percent to stand at 40,468.49. Overall, trading volumes fell to 150 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 192 million. Shares of 386 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 288 stocks closed higher, 78 declined while 20 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.2 billion. TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 12 million shares, gaining Rs0.33 to close at Rs34.20.

DOW, S&P SLIP FROM RECORD ALL-TIME PEAK

The Dow and S&P 500 both slipped from record all-time highs Friday after the Department of Labor reported the US lost 33,000 jobs last month.

The dreary headline figure was the result of a sharp slowdown in economic activity in regions hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Other aspects of the report were favorable, with hourly wages rising and unemployment falling from 4.4 to 4.2 percent.

Analysts said last month’s data should be taken with a grain of salt.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent to 2,549.33, snapping a six-day streak of record peaks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped a hair to 22,773.67, also pulling back from a record, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.1 percent to 6,590.18, finishing at a record for the sixth straight session.

TOKYO STOCKS CLIMB OVER 2-YEAR HIGH

Tokyo stocks closed at more than two-year highs Friday after record peaks on Wall Street driven by expectations of bumper US corporate earnings and hopes President Donald Trump’s tax cut plan will be signed into law.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.30 percent, or 62.15 points, to finish at 20,690.71, its fifth straight gain and the highest close since August 2015, while the broader Topix index rose 0.28 percent, or 4.67 points, to 1,687.16.

HONG KONG SHARES RALLY TO HIT 10-YEAR HIGH

Hong Kong rallied Friday to end at a 10-year high, with dealers tracking another record on Wall Street ahead of the release of US jobs data later in the day.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.28 percent, or 78.86 points, to end at 28,458.04 – its highest since the final quarter of 2007. Chinese markets were closed for a week-long public holiday.

EUROPEAN SHARES STEADY

Europe’s main stock markets were steady at the open Friday awaiting key US jobs data.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.1 percent to 7,516.82 point compared with the closing level on Thursday. In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index gained around 0.1 percent to 12,979.34 points and the Paris CAC 40 dipped fractionally to 5,378.07.

TSX STUMBLES AS ENERGY, HURT BY DECLINING OIL PRICES

Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday as energy stocks, hurt by a sharp fall in oil prices, lead broad declines. Suncor Energy Inc and Canadian Natural Resources were the most influential movers on the index.

Suncor fell 0.8 percent to C$43.69, while Canadian Natural Resources declined 1.6 percent to C$41.34. Encana Corp dropped 2.4 percent to C$14.02.

The energy group slumped 1.4 percent after oil prices fell on profit-taking as well as renewed concerns about oversupply.

At 10:03 a.m. ET (1403 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 66.66 points, or 0.42 percent, to 15,709.64. Of the index’s 10 main groups, eight lost ground.

SRI LANKAN STOCKS HIT 9-WEEK HIGH

Sri Lankan shares rose for a sixth straight session on Friday and closed at their highest in nine weeks as blue chips gained.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.34 percent higher at 6,529.05, its highest close since Aug. 4. The bourse rose 1.4 percent for the week, recording its fourth straight weekly gain. Turnover stood at 922 million Sri Lankan rupees ($6.02 million), in line with this year’s daily average of 923.4 million rupees. Shares of Asiri Hospitals Plc gained 5.2 percent while Hatton National Bank Plc ended 1.1 percent higher and conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc rose 0.2 percent. Foreign investors, who bought a net 19.9 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year, were net sellers of 82.3 million rupees worth of shares on Friday.

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