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KSE-100 gains 230 points, closes positive for fourth successive session

Stocks finished the week on a high with the KSE-100 Index registering a positive finish for the fourth successive time despite choppy trading during the session on Friday.

US President Donald Trump’s move towards imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports created negative sentiment at the start of the session, pulling the sector in the red as trading began.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 230.10 points or 0.53% to settle at 43,740.49. Overall, trading volumes increased to 230 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 211 million. Shares of 371 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 202 stocks closed higher, 153 declined while 16 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.6 billion. Dost Steels was the volume leader with 19.08 million shares, losing Rs0.31 to close at Rs12.70.

Import tariffs his major US indexes

The S&P 500 ended another turbulent week on an upbeat note Friday, but major indexes posted their worst week of losses since early February as President Donald Trump’s threat to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum rattled investors. The gains on Friday came as investors who had been spooked by the prospect of a global trade war backed off those concerns and noted a trade war was far from certain at this point.

Trump on Thursday threatened a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum without exemptions for any countries, igniting a selloff in a market already on edge over rising U.S. interest rates and bond yields.

The tariffs could dampen profits for everything from car makers to beer companies and result in higher prices for consumers. Shares of big US steel companies and manufacturers were under pressure on uncertainty over the effects of tariffs. Shares in Caterpillar, a buyer of raw materials and a big exporter of construction machinery products, were down 2.6 percent after falling 2.8 percent in the previous day’s session. General Motors was down 1 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 70.92 points, or 0.29 percent, to 24,538.06, the S&P 500 gained 13.58 points, or 0.51 percent, to 2,691.25 and the Nasdaq Composite added 77.31 points, or 1.08 percent, to 7,257.87. For the week, the S&P 500 dropped 2 percent, while the Dow was down 3 percent and the Nasdaq fell 1 percent. Wall Street had posted gains in the previous two weeks as it recovered from its steep early-February selloff.

European stocks fall as trade tensions weigh

European shares fell to new two-week lows on Friday after Donald Trump said the United States would impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, prompting worries over a global trade war. Such concerns sparked a broad sell off in Europe, sending the pan-regional STOXX 600 index down 0.7 percent by 0825 GMT.

Germany’s DAX fell 1.1 percent and Britain’s FTSE dropped 0.3 percent. All sectors were trading in negative territory, with autos leading the drop and weighed down by a 3.7 percent slump in Fiat Chrysler shares on concerns that the US tariff move could increase raw material costs.

LSE group moves on with 47pc profit jump

London Stock Exchange Group emerged from what was a troubling 2017 with a 47 percent profit jump despite turgid markets, helping to ease lingering concern over management upheaval and its aborted Deutsche Boerse merger.

Without a permanent chief executive LSE could be more vulnerable to a potential takeover. TCI, which holds a 5.17 percent stake in LSE, has predicted a 15 billion pound ($20.7 billion) bid for the group from transatlantic rivals ICE and CME Group.

Japanese stocks plunge

Japanese stocks fell to a 2-1/2-week low on Friday, with steelmakers and automakers taking a battering after President Donald Trump said the United States would impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum, sending the short-sell ratio to a record high.

The ratio of shares sold short hit a record high of 48.8 percent. The Nikkei ended 2.5 percent lower to 21,181.64 points, the lowest closing level since Feb. 14. The index dropped 3.2 percent this week. The broader Topix dropped 1.8 percent to 1,708.34, with all of its 33 subsectors falling.

Sri Lankan shares edge up

Sri Lankan shares inched slightly higher on Friday from a two-week closing low, but foreign selling amid political uncertainty weighed on trade, stock brokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.08 percent firmer at 6,557.02, edging up from its lowest close since Feb. 14 hit on Wednesday. Sri Lankan markets were closed for a holiday on Thursday. The index fell 0.28 percent this week. Turnover stood at 449.5 million rupees ($2.90 million) on Friday, well below this year’s daily average of 959.5 million rupees.

Aussie stocks weaken; NZ down

Australian shares ended lower on Friday as US President Donald Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports hit commodity prices and sparked fears of a trade war.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell for a third consecutive session, losing 0.7 percent, or 44.4 points to end at 5,928.9. The benchmark closed 1.4 percent lower this week, having gained in the previous two weeks. Steel futures dropped 1 percent at 3,997 yuan ($629) a tonne by 0255 GMT, while iron ore on the Dalian Commodities exchange fell 1.2 percent. New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7 percent or 54.29 points to close the session at 8,288.42, and were marginally down for the week.

Hong Kong shares fall the most in 3 weeks

Hong Kong stocks fell the most in three weeks on Friday, bringing the week’s loss to over 2 percent, as concerns of a global trade war hit already shaky confidence due to prospects of a faster pace of US monetary tightening. US President Donald Trump announced hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, sparking concerns of a global trade war.

The Hang Seng index fell 1.5 percent, to 30,583.45, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.8 percent to 12,203.91 points. Major Chinese steelmaker Angang Steel fell over 2 percent, Maanshan Iron lost nearly 5 percent while Aluminum Corp of China was down 2.6 percent.

SE Asia shares down on trade war fears

Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday, in line with broader Asia, as US President Donald Trump’s plan to press hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports sparked fears of a global trade war. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan sank 1.1 percent after Wall Street posted steep losses overnight. Philippine shares fell as much as 1.5 percent before cutting losses to close slightly lower. However, they posted their lowest close in 10 weeks. Industrials accounted for about half the drop, with JG Summit Holdings Inc sliding 5 and LT Group Inc falling 3.1 percent.

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