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KSE-100 reacts positively to amnesty scheme

An exceptionally remarkable session ended on a dull note on Friday as the KSE-100 Index settled just 76.80 points higher on last trading day of the week, which was its eighth successive session in the black.

Following announcement of an amnesty scheme by the Prime Minister on Thursday, investors were ecstatic and resorted to heavy buying, which propelled the index to a gain of over 580 points in intra-day trading. Although the rally lasted only for the first hour, the index managed to power past 47,100 points.

Overall, trading volumes increased to 248 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 233 million. Shares of 370 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 180 stocks closed higher, 164 declined while 26 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs14.6 billion. Engro Polymer (XD) was the volume leader with 16.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.76 to close at Rs37.70. It was followed by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines with 12.9 million shares, gaining Rs3.35 to close at Rs117.66 and TRG Pakistan with 10.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.57 to close at Rs36.23.

US shares sink on renewed trade war fears

US stocks plunged more than two percent Friday after President Donald Trump warned of tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese imports, provoking a strong response from Beijing and fanning fears of a full-blown trade war.

Investors were unnerved by the latest broadside from the volatile US president and by China’s strident response, which vowed Beijing would stand firm ‘until the end at any cost.’

The main indexes sold off in early trade following President Donald Trump’s proposal of fresh tariffs against China. The afternoon selling pressure followed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech in which he backed a “patient” approach to raising interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 572.46 points, or 2.3%, to end at 23,932.76, bringing its weekly decline to 0.7%. All 30 blue-chip companies finished with losses on Friday.

The S&P 500 index dropped 58.37 points, or 2.2%, to finish at 2,604.47, with all 11 main sectors trading in negative territory. More than 95% of S&P 500 stocks closed lower on Friday, according to FactSet. Industrial and financial stocks led the losses, down 2.7% and 2.4%, respectively. The benchmark index lost 1.4% over the week.

Meanwhile the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 161.44 points, or 2.3%, to close at 6,915.11, leaving it with a 2.1% weekly fall.

Sri Lanka shares higher

Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Information Technology, Trading and Beverages & Tobacco sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share rose 0.47 percent. The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were PCH Holdings PLC, which rose 20.00 percent or 0.100 points to trade at 0.600 at the close. Meanwhile, Selinsing PLC added 19.01 percent or 116.60 points to end at 730.00 and Multi Finance PLC was up 14.49 percent or 2.00 points to 15.80 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Ceylon Printers PLC, which fell 11.18 percent or 7.70 points to trade at 61.20 at the close. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 112 to 58 and 50 ended unchanged.


Australian stocks steady as trade war fears intensify

Australian shares ended effectively flat on Friday with investors holding positions as they now await China’s response to US President Donald Trump’s newly proposed tariff plan. Trump instructed trade officials on Thursday to consider a $100 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods after China said it would subject $50 billion of US goods to increased tariffs.

The escalation followed Trump’s initial proposal for a 25 percent tariff on many imports from China.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 10 basis points lower at 5,788.7, and logged a weekly gain of 0.5 percent, ending a three-week run of losses. Gains in materials stocks countered losses in financials as miner BHP closed 0.5 percent higher, cancelling Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s 0.4 percent loss.

Asian shares inch lower

Asian stocks drifted lower Friday as traders digested hawkish comments from US President Donald Trump on a brewing trade war and with an eye on all-important US jobs data due out later in the day.

After opening higher, Tokyo finished in the red, losing 0.4 percent while Seoul and Sydney also ended in negative territory. Hong Kong outperformed its regional peers and was up one percent in afternoon trade, with the market playing catch-up after being closed on Thursday. Shanghai was closed.

SE Asia shares slip, Vietnam up

Singapore and Vietnam shares extended gains on Friday while other Southeast Asian markets slipped as investors awaited China’s response after US President Donald Trump proposed $100 billion in additional tariffs. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was slightly higher.

Vietnam shares rose for a third straight session and hit a new high of 1,202.59. Vingroup JSC rose 1.2 percent, while Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade jumped 2.3 percent.

The benchmark stock index has gained over 2 percent so far this week in what could be its eighth straight weekly rise. It has added nearly 22 percent this year after a 48 percent jump in 2017.

Canada’s main stock index falls

Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday, led by big banks, as domestic jobs data was not considered strong enough to change the central bank’s interest rate outlook, while concerns of a trade war continued to mount.

At 9:33 a.m. ET (1333 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 27.79 points, or 0.18 percent, to 15,328.26. Of the index’s 10 main groups, seven were lower.

India markets flat

After posting huge gains post Reserve Bank of India’S policy statement on Thursday, equity benchmarks of Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchanges opened flat on Friday and traded in a narrow range with mostly downside bias on the report that US President Donald Trump had asked his trade officials to work on imposing a fresh $100 billion tariff on imports from China. In the morning Morgan Stanley Composite Index (outside Japan) was 0.25 percent down. Analysts say the 30-share Sensitive Index of BSE and 50-scrip Nifty of NSE are unlikely to fritter away recent gains in the near-term in the wake of RBI’s affirmation that the economy was, indeed, recovering.

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