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US stocks down as trump inks tax cut into law

Wall Street stocks dipped Friday as President Donald Trump signed a long-awaited tax cut into law ahead of the Christmas holiday. Trump moved up a bill signing originally slated for January to fulfill a promise to deliver tax cuts by Christmas.

US stocks had risen to repeat records earlier in the month in anticipation of the measure, but began to sag this week as the proposal cleared the final hurdles in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1 percent to end the week at 24,754.06. The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.1 percent to close at 2,683.34, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also shed 0.1 percent to 6,959.96. Dow member Nike lost 2.4 percent after reporting second-quarter profit fell nine percent to $767 million. Biotech company Celgene shed 1.4 percent after disclosing disappointing results for a trial of its revlimid treatment for follicular lymphoma.

Britain’s FTSE eases into holiday mode around record up

Britain’s top share index touched a fresh record high on Friday in holiday-shortened trade before easing at the close as weakness among cyclical stocks weighed.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended the session down 0.2 percent at 7,592.66 points, resting below the 7,600-point level first breached in the previous session. The index had been in positive territory for much of the session, slipping lower in the last few minutes of trading. Depressed cyclical stocks capped gains on the day, with shares in heavyweight financials such as HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds down 0.1 to 1.2 percent, while commodities stocks followed oil and copper prices lower. The FTSE 100 has risen 6.3 percent this year compared with a 7.8 percent gain for the broader pan-European STOXX 600 . Last year, the FTSE advanced more than 14 percent. The mid-cap index rose 0.3 percent as consumer discretionary stocks and industrials rallied.

Pakistan’s share index records an increase of 755.12 points

Investors resorted to heavy buying at the stock market on Friday as the KSE-100 Index soared 800 points in intra-day trading before giving up some gains.

Trading began on a positive note as the index went on a steady ascent. Activity returned to the bourse as investors picked stocks at attractive valuations, helping the index recover from its downward spiral. Clarity on the political front and positive reports about the market performance in 2018 also helped improve the situation.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered an increase of 755.12 points or 1.95 percent to settle at 39,470.89. Active participation was witnessed in all sectors as the index closed at 39,471, up 755 points. Overall, trading volumes increased to 223 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 179 million. Shares of 377 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 289 stocks closed higher, 74 declined while 14 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.2 billion. Dewan Salman was the volume leader with 17.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.18 to close at Rs1.38. It was followed by Lotte Chemical with 15.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.68 to close at Rs6.74 and TRG Pakistan with 12.9 million shares, gaining Rs1.24 to close at Rs29.17.

TSX slips, but on track for biggest weekly gain since September

Canada’s main stock index slipped in early trade on Friday, with financial and energy stocks pulling back as bond yields and oil prices retreated. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 5.75 points, or 0.04 percent, at 16,176.88 shortly after the open. It is on track for a 0.8 percent gain on the week, its sharpest weekly gain since late September.

Hong Kong traders head for christmas after gains

Hong Kong stocks headed into the Christmas break with healthy gains on Friday, in line with an Asian rally following positive lead from Wall Street.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.72 percent, or 210.95 points, to close at 29,578.01. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.09 percent, or 3.00 points, to 3,297.06 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, eased 0.18 percent, or 3.49 points, to 1,901.56.

Tokyo shares close up on late bargain-hunting

Tokyo stocks rose Friday on late bargain-hunting in quiet pre-holiday trade after US stocks resumed their climb on the passage of President Donald Trump’s long-awaited tax cut plan.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.16 percent, or 36.66 points, to close at 22,902.76. Over the week, the index jumped 1.55 percent. The broader Topix index was up 0.35 percent Friday, or 6.47 points, at 1,829.08, with a weekly gain of 1.99 percent. The Nikkei index opened slightly lower as investors cashed in while many investors were on the sidelines ahead of Christmas holidays. Wall Street broke a two-day losing streak on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending up 0.2 percent at 24,782.29 points.

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