OPTIMISTIC STREAK CONTINUES AT PSX
The stock market continued to be on the positive streak and finished last trading day of the week on a positive note.
The market witnessed directionless trading in early hours, however, when it resumed business after midday break, the index shot up. Investors bought stocks at attractive valuations, taking the benchmark index above 42,000-point barrier. At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered an increase of 529.82 points or 1.27 percent to finish at 42,087.89 points. The banking sector gained as United Bank (+0.87%) and MCB Bank (+2.03%) closed positive. Fauji Fertilizer Company announced its results for 9M2017 where the company declared earnings per share of Rs4.66 and cash payout of Rs1.50 per share for the third quarter. The exploration and production sector rose following a slight increase in crude oil prices in the global market. Pakistan Petroleum (+1.54%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (+1.18%) were major gainers of the sector. Overall, trading volumes rose to 261 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 232 million. Shares of 386 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 270 stocks closed higher, 99 declined while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs12.9 billion. Engro Polymer was the volume leader with 20.7 million shares, losing Rs1.01 to close at Rs36.99.
US SHARES RISE ON CONGRESSIONAL TAX CUT PROGRESS
Wall Street stocks added to records early Friday, boosted by progress on Capitol Hill on a long-awaited tax cut proposal that offset disappointing earnings from General Electric and Procter & Gamble. Investors were cheered by a party-line 51-49 vote in the Senate for a federal budget plan that permits the legislative body to pass the tax cut plan with a simple majority vote instead of a 60-person supermajority.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 23,226.82, up 0.3 percent.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.3 percent to 2,569.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4 percent to 6,633.69. GE dropped 4.3 percent after it reported lower earnings and slashed its profit forecast as weakness in the power and oil and gas businesses continued to weigh on the company. Procter & Gamble tumbled 3.1 percent after reporting net profit for the fiscal first quarter of 2018 came in at $2.9 billion, up 5.1 percent from the year-ago period.
EUROPEAN SHARES REBOUND
European stock markets rebounded at the start of trading on Friday following a late recovery on Wall Street and a record-winning streak by Tokyo.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.4 percent to 7,551.93 points compared with Thursday’s closing level. In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index won 0.5 percent to 13,057.78 points and the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.4 percent to 5,389.48. Spain’s IBEX 35 index opened fractionally higher. US indices had been in the red for most of Thursday, but the Dow and S&P 500 managed to eke out gains at the close to reach fresh record-highs.
NIKKEI INDEX POSTS RECORD WINNING STREAK
Tokyo’s benchmark stock on Friday posted a record-equalling winning streak, boosted by a weaker yen but automaker Nissan dropped on a production suspension. The Nikkei 225 inched up 0.04 percent, or 9.12 points, to finish at 21,457.64 — a 14th straight day of gains match a record set in 1961 — the year that John F. Kennedy was inaugurated US president and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter space.
The broader Topix index was up 0.03 percent, or 0.60 points, at 1,730.64. The dollar rose to 113.26 yen Friday from 112.56 yen in New York Thursday afternoon, after the US Senate passed a 2018 federal budget, marking a key step for President Donald Trump’s tax-cut plans. Investors are now focusing on Japan’s general election Sunday with opinion polls predicting an easy victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition. However, Nissan dropped 1.55 percent to end at 1,079 yen. After the close Thursday, Japan’s number-two automaker said it was suspending all production destined for the local market as it grapples with a mounting inspection scandal that has already seen it announce the recall some 1.2 million vehicles.
HONG KONG SHARES BOUNCE BACK
Hong Kong stocks surged more than one percent on Friday, taking a big chunk out of the previous day’s sharp losses, with investors buoyed by hopes for Donald Trump’s market-friendly tax-cutting plans.
The Hang Seng Index jumped 1.17 percent, or 328.15 points, to 28,487.24 — after losing almost two percent Thursday. And the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.25 percent, or 8.48 points, to 3,378.65 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, rose 0.80 percent, or 15.96 points, to 1,999.68.
SRI LANKA SHARES HIGHER
Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Beverages & Tobacco, Information Technology and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.
At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share rose 0.26 percent. The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were Kelsey Developments PLC, which rose 24.93 percent or 9.40 points to trade at 47.10 at the close. Meanwhile, Radiant Gems International PLC added 16.85 percent or 4.60 points to end at 31.90 and Shalimar Estates was up 15.26 percent or 263.40 points to 1990.00 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Serendib Land PLC, which fell 17.39 percent or 257.70 points to trade at 1224.00 at the close. Amana Takaful PLC declined 11.11 percent or 0.100 points to end at 0.800 and Central Investments and Finance PLC (CM:CIFL) was down 10.00 percent or 0.100 points to 0.900. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 118 to 73 and 61 ended unchanged.