European shares stutter as dollar weakens
Most of Europe’s stock markets ran into profit-taking Thursday as the continent’s main currencies posted fresh gains against the dollar, weighing on export-heavy stocks, as the Wall Street rally also stalled. Paris ended the day flat despite Airbus shares rising 0.7 percent after Emirates Airlines struck a $16-billion deal to buy 36 Airbus A-380 superjumbos, having traded as much as three percent up on the day during the morning session. London also lapsed into the red as market participants eyed the strong pound, which weighs on the performance of multinational companies. The FTSE 100 closed down 0.3 percent.
Pakistan stocks end week on positive note
Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) ended the week on a positive note with the benchmark KSE-100 index gaining 598 points, experiencing a 1.37 percent increase, to close at 44,179 points.
The index opened higher and continued its upward stride for most of the session touching the day’s high of 44,203 points minutes before close. In all, 209.5 million shares worth Rs10.75 billion were traded on the exchange. Of the total of 378 traded scrips, 271 advanced, 92 declined and 15 remained unchanged. The cement sector dominated trading with 33.9m shares traded.
US shares dip from records on govt shutdown anxiety
Wall Street stocks pulled back from records Thursday as concerns about a possible US government shutdown and lofty equity valuations dented sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 percent to finish the session at 26,017.81. The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.2 percent at 2,798.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped less than 0.1 percent to 7,296.05. The declines came after all three indices ended at records on Wednesday.
General Electric had another bad day, falling 3.3 percent following the news Tuesday that it was taking a $6.2 billion charge linked to the insurance business. The conglomerate already was under heavy pressure due to weak performance in key industrial divisions. Walmart advanced 1.6 percent following an upgrade from Goldman Sachs, which praised the retail giant’s strategy and said it was likely to grant a “meaningful” dividend hike due to US tax reform.
Gulf may consolidate, Saudi faces technical issue
Gulf stock markets may consolidate on Thursday with Saudi Arabia’s index facing major technical resistance, although a few individual Saudi shares may be buoyed by positive corporate news.
The Saudi index closed 0.1 percent higher at 7,540 points on Wednesday, coming off the day’s high after approaching major technical resistance on last July’s peak of 7,586 points. However, National Medical Care could attract interest on Thursday after saying it signed a 300 million riyal ($80 million) contract to provide services for three years to GOSI. Kingdom Holding may also be buoyed by news that a consortium building Jeddah Tower, billed as the world’s tallest skyscraper, signed a 620 million riyal ($165 million) contract for infrastructure work at the site.
Sri Lankan stocks snap 7-session losing streak
Sri Lankan shares snapped a seven-session streak of declines on Friday, recovering from a near three-week closing low hit in the previous session, as investors picked up battered blue-chip and banking shares. However, foreign investors, who have been net buyers of 2.7 billion rupees worth shares so far this year, sold equities worth net 62.1 million rupees ($403,640) on Friday. They bought equities worth 18.5 billion rupees last year and 633.5 million rupees in 2016.
The Colombo Stock index ended 0.52 percent higher at 6,443.50. In the previous session, it closed at its lowest since Dec. 29. The bourse shed 2 percent in the past seven sessions, and dropped 0.47 percent for the week recording its second straight weekly fall. Turnover stood at 1.7 billion rupees, nearly twice of last year’s daily average of 915.3 million rupees.
Singapore exchange to increase listings with dual-class shares
Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) will soon allow the listing of dual-class share structures (DCS) and set out rules in the first quarter of this year, as it seeks to improve its attraction as a listing destination.
The decision comes weeks after Hong Kong said it will push ahead with allowing DCS under rule changes to be proposed by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the city’s stock exchange.
Hong Kong stocks head into break with more gains
Hong Kong stocks ended the morning with slight gains on Friday, putting the benchmark index on course for another record, but traders remain on edge over the possibility of a shutdown of the US government. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.10 percent, or 32.27 points, to 32,154.21 by the break.
Tokyo shares gain
Tokyo stocks closed higher Friday, shrugging off declines on Wall Street, with sentiment buoyed by hopes for Japanese corporate reports as the earnings season approaches.
The Nikkei 225 index gained 0.19 percent, or 44.69 points, to 23,808.06, leaving it up 0.65 percent over the week. The broader Topix index was up 0.69 percent, or 12.88 points, at 1,889.74, giving it a weekly gain of 0.72 percent.
On Thursday, Tokyo shares closed lower on late profit-taking after the key Nikkei index temporarily broke above the 24,000-mark for the first time in more than 26 years. Nintendo surged 4.22 percent to 48,320 yen after jumping more than two percent the previous day on plans to launch Nintendo Labo, a cardboard DIY play kit for its Switch console.