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PSX TOUCHES THE LOWEST FOR 2017

The stock market underwent a relentless battering in the last trading session of the week on Friday as the benchmark index dropped to a record low for the year. Undermined by endless political drama and concern over the mounting trade deficit as well as persistently falling foreign reserves, the KSE-100 index dropped from the word go. It plunged almost 750 points and hit an intra-day low of 39,478.05 points.

However, as trading began after the midday break, the index posted a decent recovery with investors coming forward to pick stocks at attractive valuations. Despite this change in trend, the index finished deeply in the red.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered a decline of 390.75 points or 0.97 percent to finish at 39,846.78 points. It is said that Pakistan equities closed lower for the fifth consecutive session with the benchmark index settling below 39,900, down 1 percent. Maple Leaf Cement (-4.7%) bore the brunt of selling followed by DG Khan Cement (-1.4%) and Lucky Cement (-3.8%). Other sectors also followed suit and were dragged down amid thin turnover, pulling the KSE-100 index down as much as 1.9 percent. Oil stocks, however, helped to pare losses in the second session with Pakistan Oilfields (+1.9%) leading gains on local interest while select index names including National Bank (+3.3%) and Engro Fertilizers (+1.6%) also showed cherry-picking. Overall, trading volumes rose to 153 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 137 million. Shares of 382 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 88 stocks closed higher, 282 declined while 12 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.1 billion. K-Electric was the volume leader with 13.4 million shares, losing Rs0.14 to close at Rs6.16. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 8.1 million shares, losing Rs3.24 to close at Rs66.31 and TRG Pakistan with 7.9 million shares, losing Rs0.84 to close at Rs32.50.

US STOCKS SOAR; DOW, S&P UP FOR FIFTH WEEK

US stocks rose on Friday following upbeat economic data and gains in technology shares, pushing the Dow and the S&P 500 to a fifth straight week of gains.

Data showed US retail sales jumped in September, and the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index hit its highest since January 2004. Another report showed consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in eight months as hurricanes Harvey and Irma boosted demand but underlying inflation remained muted.

Netflix shares closed 1.9 percent higher after hitting an intraday record high at $200.82 on a slew of price target increases ahead of its earnings report on Monday. Apple up 0.6 percent, gave the S&P 500 its biggest boost, while the S&P technology index was up 0.5 percent. Shares of big banks were mixed following reports from Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

The CBOE volatility index remains at historically depressed levels, closing at 9.61 on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30.71 points, or 0.13 percent, to end at 22,871.72, and the S&P 500 gained 2.24 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,553.17.

For the week, the Dow was up 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 was up 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq rose 0.2 percent for the week, registering a third week of gains.

INDIA’S NIFTY AT ALL-TIME PEAK

Backed by strong buying in banking and telecom stocks, the India’s Nifty index on NSE closed at a new all-time peak at 10,167 points while the Sensex settled at 32,433, less than 150 points from its highest closing ever at 32,575, recorded on August 1.

In Friday’s market, banking stocks led the rally with HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank and ICICI Bank among the top gainers. Along with banking and financial services stocks, Bharti Airtel, after it announced to buy the mobile telecom services business of the Tata Group, rallied nearly 8 percent to close at Rs432. The day’s rally also took investors’ wealth to an all-time peak with BSE’s market capitalization now at Rs143.8 lakh crore.

TOKYO’S NIKKEI TAKES RECORD JUMP

Tokyo’s benchmark stock index was on track to reach its best close in more than two decades on Wednesday, while scandal-hit Kobe Steel plunged for the second straight day.

The Nikkei 225 gained 0.22 percent, or 46.73 points, to sit at 20,870.24 by the break. If it closes at that level or higher, it would be the index’s highest close since 1996. The broader Topix index was at decade-highs, up 0.05 percent, or 0.89 points, at 1,696.03.

The Japanese market has jumped aboard a global equities rally, with Wall Street chalking up more record finishes on Tuesday. The Nikkei is up about 22 percent over the past year.

SRI LANKA STOCKS HIGHER

Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Palm Oil, Beverages & Tobacco and Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share gained 0.16 percent to hit a new 1-month high. The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were Adam Investments Ltd, which rose 25.00 percent or 0.100 points to trade at 0.500 at the close.

Meanwhile, Serendib Hotels PLC added 16.83 percent or 3.40 points to end at 23.60 and Anilana Hotels & Properties Ltd was up 15.38 percent or 0.200 points to 1.500 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Serendib Land PLC, which fell 12.26 percent or 181.70 points to trade at 1300.00 at the close. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 126 to 73 and 50 ended unchanged.

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