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KSE-100 falls 462 points as correction continues

The KSE-100 Index continued its fall for the second successive session as correction along with profit-taking dragged stocks in the red on the last day of the week.

At close on Friday, the KSE-100 Index ended with a decrease of 461.56 points or 1.06 percent to finish at 42,933.72 points. TRG (-3.04%) and WTL (-3.45%) from the technology and communication sector were the major volume leaders of the day. Major laggards at the bourse were PSO (-3.88%), DGKC (-4.93%), OGDC (-1.41%), ENGRO (-1.69%) and UBL (-1.14%) contributing -158 points.

Overall, trading volume decreased to 239 million shares, compared with Thursday’s tally of 319 million. Shares of 368 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 80 stocks closed higher, 276 declined while 12 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.3 billion. TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 26 million shares, losing Rs1.03 to close at Rs32.89. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 15.2 million shares, losing Rs0.10 to close at Rs2.80 and Azgard Nine with 14.1 million shares, losing Rs0.87 to close at Rs13.65.

US shares end at records again, extending rally

Wall Street stocks surged to another round of records Friday as earnings season kicked off amid optimism ignited by the US tax reform.

All three major indices again ended at records, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.9 percent at the closing bell to 25,803.19.

The broad-based S&P 500 finished at 2,786.24, jumping 0.7 percent from Thursday’s record, as did the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index which closed the week at 7,261.06. Earnings from big banks were mixed, with JPMorgan Chase rising 1.7 percent after beating expectations, even as profits were hit by one-time effects of the tax law changes.

European shares take sharp jump

Dealmaking activity drove sharp share price moves in Europe on Friday with British engineer GKN leaping after it rejected an unsolicited offer from rival Melrose.

A gain of over 26 percent in GKN and strength in the auto sector led a broad-based rally, helping the pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark end 0.3 percent higher following losses in the previous two sessions.

While the STOXX posted its second week of gains in a row with a 0.3 percent rise, it was a far cry from the 2 percent rally in the opening week of 2018 as a strengthening euro and expectations that the European Central Bank could reduce its stimulus sooner than expected cooled down the new year’s euphoria.

Puma fell nearly 6 percent, while Kering gained just 0.1 percent. Minority Puma shareholders had been hoping for a tie-up between Puma and another industry player rather than a spin-off, one trader said.

Elsewhere, earnings updates drove price action on Friday.

Vivendi fell 3.8 percent after the acquisitive media conglomerate lowered its 2017 full-year guidance for core operating profit and revenues, penalized by higher restructuring costs tied to its pay-TV unit Canal Plus.

Danish food ingredients developer Chr Hansen dropped 7.4 percent, leading losers on the STOXX, after first-quarter results fell short of analyst estimates.

Autos were the biggest sectoral gainer, up 1.2 percent, boosted by GKN and a rise to a fresh record high for Fiat Chrysler, which has been recently supported by fresh speculation of possible strategic deals.

Tokyo shares end lower

Tokyo stocks fell on Friday as a higher yen weighed on the market, while investors were also cautious ahead of the release of US inflation figures.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.24 percent or 56.61 points to close at 23,653.82, while the broader Topix index was down 0.63 percent or 11.85 points at 1,876.24.


Sri Lankan stocks hit over 1-week low

Sri Lankan shares fell for a fourth straight session on Friday to hit a more than one-week closing low on profit-booking in blue chip stocks.

The Colombo Stock Index ended 0.35 percent weaker at 6,473.62, its lowest close since Jan. 4. Turnover stood at 968.3 million rupees ($6.29 million) on Friday, more than last year’s daily average of 915.3 million rupees. Foreign investors net bought shares worth 77.4 million rupees on Friday, extending the net foreign inflow in this year to 2.33 billion rupees. They had net bought 18.5 billion rupees worth equities in 2017 and 633.5 million rupees in 2016.

Nigerian shares extend gains to 9-year high

Nigerian stocks extended gains for the seventh straight session on Friday, up one percent to a fresh nine-year high.

Stocks have gained strongly in January, extending 2017’s 43 percent rise. The rally has taken the index up 12.55 percent since the start of the year. The index stood at 43,482 points as at 1234 GMT, a level last seen in October 2008.

Forty six stocks across several sectors advanced as investors sentiment increased towards equities while 17 firms declined. The index of Nigeria’s top five oil and gas firms led the charge, rallying 2.55 percent. Banking stocks rose 1.35 percent. Traders say foreign funds that were skewed towards the local debt market yielding as high as 18 percent last year, are now taking position in equities as government seeks to lower its borrowing costs.

Hong Kong shares climb a 14th day for new record

The record rally in Hong Kong stocks moved into a 14th day on Friday, in line with a broad advance across Asia and following healthy annual Chinese trade data.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.9 percent, or 292.15 points, to close at 31,412.54. The index is within two percent of its all-time high of 31,958.41 hit in October 2007. And the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.11 percent, or 3.60 points, to 3,428.94 but the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, lost 0.21 percent, or 4.19 points, to 1,948.93.

Australia stocks seen recovering

Australian shares are expected to recover from two straight sessions of falls on Friday, latching on to solid leads from Wall Street inspired by higher oil prices. Wall Street surged to record highs on Thursday on the back of rising oil prices and as investors bet on a strong US corporate earnings season. Oil settled at three-year highs on signs that global inventories were tightening.

The local share price index futures rose 0.3 percent or 17 points to 6,030, a 37.6-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark fell 0.5 percent on Thursday. New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index inched 0.2 percent higher in early trade.

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