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NASDAQ, S&P 500 AT FRESH RECORDS AFTER STRONG TECH EARNINGS

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 powered to fresh records Friday following blowout earnings from Amazon and other tech giants and a bullish update from Apple on its latest smartphone.

At the closing bell, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index stood at 6,698.85, up 2.2 percent. The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent to 2,581.09, also a finishing record, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 percent to 23,434.16.

DISAPPOINTING FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES DRAG PAKISTAN STOCKS DOWN

The stock market succumbed to political noise on a day when most companies also posted disappointing quarterly financial results as the KSE-100 fell below the 41,500 level on Thursday. At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered a decrease of 185.83 points or 0.45percent to finish at 41,409.49. Overall, trading volumes rose to 139 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 102 million. Shares of 378 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 122 stocks closed higher, 239 declined while 17 remained unchanged.

The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.9 billion. Azgard Nine was the volume leader with 13.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.04 to close at Rs14.52. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 10.01 million shares, losing Rs3.56 to close at Rs67.64 and Aisha Steel Mill with 8.15 million shares, losing Rs0.69 to close at Rs19.13.

RBS, STERLING SUPPORTS BRITAIN’S TOP SHARE INDEX

British stocks followed European indexes higher on Friday, driven by a weakening pound and a rise in RBS, which helped outweigh falls among mining stocks and British Airways owner IAG.

The FTSE 100 closed up 0.3 percent with sterling slipping to a three-week low against the dollar as doubts grew that a Bank of England rate rise expected next week would signal the start of a series of hikes.

RBS shares were up 1.7 percent after the state-owned bank beat expectations with strong third-quarter profit and a more robust capital ratio. Mid-cap miners Evraz, Kaz Minerals and Ferrexpo also fell 1 percent, 3.8 percent and 4.8 percent respectively. Among mid-caps Tullow Oil shares also dropped 2.4 percent after the group said it plugged and abandoned its Araku-1 well in Suriname after failing to strike oil.

TOKYO SHARES RISE ON JAPAN EARNINGS, US TAX CUT HOPES

Tokyo stocks closed higher Friday as Japanese earnings season gets into full swing and as the yen weakened against the dollar on hopes for US President Donald Trump’s tax cut plans.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.24 percent, or 268.67 points, to close at 22,008.45, while the broader Topix index gained 0.98 percent, or 17.15 points, at 1,771.05.

SRI LANKA SHARES LOWER

Sri Lanka stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Information Technology, Beverages & Tobacco and Healthcare sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share fell 0.31 percent. The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were Kotmale Holdings PLC, which rose 13.60 percent or 25.90 points to trade at 216.30 at the close. Meanwhile, PCH Holdings PLC added 11.11 percent or 0.100 points to end at 1.000 and Nuwara Eliya Hotels Co PLC was up 10.91percent or 126.50 points to 1286.10 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Shalimar Estates, which fell 16.60percent or 286.60 points to trade at 1440.00 at the close. Indo Malay PLC declined 15.70percent or 224.50 points to end at 1205.10 and Huejay International Investments PLC was down 10.26percent or 4.00 points to 35.00. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 116 to 104 and 54 ended unchanged.

HONG KONG STOCKS CLOSE HIGHER

Hong Kong shares ended higher on Friday, as investors were buoyed by a stronger US dollar and hopes for further progress on President Donald Trump’s much-trumpeted tax cuts.

The Hang Seng Index went up 0.84 percent, or 236.47 points, to end at 28,438.85. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.27 percent, or 9.24 points, to 3,416.81, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, lost 0.34 percent, or 6.85 points, to 2,023.50.

AUSTRALIAN STOCKS TURN RED AS COURT RULING TRIGGERS POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY

Australian shares fell on Friday, swinging into negative territory from a near six-month peak after the conservative government lost its one-seat majority following a shock court ruling removed the deputy prime minister from parliament.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.2 percent or 13.097 points to 5,903.2 at the close of trade, shedding earlier gains from encouraging corporate results. The benchmark rose 0.2 percent on Thursday. The idea of political instability in Australia is causing a little bit of market angst. No one wants to see that, said Chris Weston, an institutional dealer with IG Markets.

TSX HITS REGISTER HIGH ON ENERGY STOCKS

Canada’s main stock index touched a new record high on Friday as overall higher energy stocks offset a batch of largely disappointing quarterly results.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was on track for its seventh straight week of gains, rising 57.74 points, or 0.36 percent, to a record high of 15,949.37.

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