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US stocks post weekly losses

The S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials rose on Friday, boosted by strong industrial output numbers, though all three of Wall Street’s major indexes posted losses for the week.

February industrial production jumped 1.1 percent, the largest increase in four months. Energy led the major sectors of the S&P 500 with a 1.0 percent gain, as oil prices CLc1 rose 1.7 percent.

Friday’s gains came at the end of a rocky week dominated by concerns of a US trade war with China and political turmoil, which began with the ouster of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The Nasdaq was barely changed at Friday’s market close. Investors were also looking ahead to next week, when the Federal Reserve is expected to raise benchmark US interest rates. Rate-sensitive sectors, such as utilities and real estate, rose on Friday, but they could perform poorly if rates increase sharply.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72.85 points, or 0.29 percent, to end the week at 24,946.51, the S&P 500 gained 4.68 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,752.01 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.25 point, or 0 percent, to 7,481.99. For the week, the Dow fell 1.57 percent, the S&P lost 1.04 percent, and the Nasdaq dropped 1.27 percent.

Walmart Inc gained 1.9 percent after the University of Michigan’s preliminary reading of its consumer sentiment index rose more than expected to 102.0. Adobe Systems Inc was up 3.1 percent, hitting an all-time high during the session, after the Photoshop maker topped analysts’ profit and revenue estimates for the seventh straight quarter.

The S&P 500 posted 25 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 178 new highs and 50 new lows. Volume on US exchanges was 9.54 billion shares, compared to the 7.2 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

China shares flat, investors dump newly-listed companies

China stocks ended flat on Thursday, with gains led by consumer and healthcare firms, while small-caps, particularly newly-listed shares, were dumped after regulators warned of risks and bubbles.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was flat at 3,291.11, while the blue-chip CSI300 index gained 0.6 percent to 4,096.16. An index tracking newly-listed firms in Shenzhen slumped 3.3 percent, posting its worst day since early February.

The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were SDIC Zhonglu Fruit Juice Co Ltd, up 10.05 percent, followed by Luoyang Glass Co Ltd gaining 10.03 percent and Xinjiang Bai Hua Cun Co Ltd up by 10 percent. The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Shanghai Fukong Interactive Entertainment Co Ltd down 10.03 percent, followed by Tederic Machinery Co Ltd losing 6.79 percent and Changshu Fengfan Power Equipment Co Ltd down by 5.39 percent.

Tokyo shares close lower

Tokyo stocks lost ground Friday, giving up their early gains, with market sentiment hit by a strong yen and concerns lingering over political risks in the US and Japan.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.58 percent, or 127.44 points, to close at 21,676.51, however, it rose 0.97 percent over the week. The broader Topix index was down 0.40 percent, or 6.97 points, at 1,736.63, for a weekly gain of 1.23 percent. Tokyo shares opened slightly higher after US stocks ended mixed as worries about US President Donald Trump’s trade policy offset a batch of largely positive US economic data. The Dow rose 0.5 percent but the S&P and Nasdaq both closed down 0.1 percent. Tokyo shares, however, fell into negative territory as the yen advanced against the dollar in late trading.

India’s sensex declines by 510 points

Benchmark indices corrected sharply in last couple of hours of trade, with the Sensex falling 509.54 points or 1.51 percent to 33,176, weighed by index heavyweights Reliance Industries, ITC and HDFC twins.

The NSE Nifty was down 165 points or 1.59 percent to 10,195.20. About two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.

Midcaps also participated in the correction as the Nifty Midcap was down 1 percent. Amtek Auto, GVK Power, Radico Khaitan, Adani Enterprises, NIIT Technologies, Oberoi Realty, Kolte-Patil, NLC India, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Capital, Future Enterprises, Hindustan Copper, EIL and SAIL were down up to 7 percent. MMTC, Graphite India, HEG, Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank gained up to 8 percent.


Taiwan’s market under pressure

The Taiwan stock market has finished under pressure in back-to-back trading days, dropping more than 75 points or 0.7 percent along the way.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just beneath the 11,020-point plateau and it may take further damage on Friday. The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky amid inconsistent data and a bump in crude oil prices.

The TSE finished slightly lower on Thursday following losses from the financials and mixed performances from the technology and steel sectors. For the day, the index sank 20.35 points or 0.18 percent to finish at 11,018.45 after trading between 11,008.18 and 11,052.11 on turnover of 110.82 billion Taiwan dollars.

Canadian shares market up

Canada’s main stock index was edged up again Thursday following increasing shares in energy sector. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 17.01 points, or 0.11 percent, to close the day at 15,670.62. Seven of the 10 major sector groups were up. The Canadian dollar was down to 0.76.62 U.S. dollar. Magna International Inc was the biggest gainer, jumping 4.3 percent to 72.79 Canadian dollars. Spartan Energy Corp, Seven Generations Energy and Raging River Exploration rose 6.3 percent, 4.6 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.

Sri Lankan shares fall to 1-1/2-month low

Sri Lankan shares extended falls on Thursday to a one-and-a-half-month closing low as foreign investors continued to reduce their holdings on expectation of an interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve at its next meeting. Foreign investors sold a net 56.7 million rupees ($363,578.07) worth of shares, but they have been net buyers of 7.02 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year.

The Colombo stock index fell for a second straight session and ended 0.28 percent weaker at 6,500.99, its lowest close since Feb.1. Turnover was 806.2 million rupees, lower than this year’s daily average of around 973.3 million rupees. Shares in Dialog Axiata Plc fell 2.9 percent, while Melstacorp Plc ended 3.7 percent weaker and Ceylon Beverage Holdings Plc dropped 8.9 percent.

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