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Pakistan shares manage gains ahead of budget

The stock market snapped the three-day losing streak on Friday with the KSE-100 Index recovering 81.91 points (0.18 per cent) to close at 45,542.78.

Investors put politics on the back burner as the excitement over budget anticipation seized their attention. Intermarket Securities said that the volatility surged ahead of the budget on mixed opinions and news flow relating to the proposals. Earnings season also influenced market behavior. It is observed that the stocks’ recovery was led by oil, banking and auto scrips in the earnings season rally at PSX as investors speculated on rationalization of tax measures. Upbeat data of textile exports in March and State Bank intervention to stem the fall of the rupee further played a catalyst role in the bullish close.

The volume soared 32 percent over the previous day to 224.6 million shares as punters put their bets on speculative shares. Leaders were Byco Petroleum, Fatima Fertiliser Company, Matco Foods, Lotte Chemical and Unity Foods, representing 35 percent of the aggregate share. The traded value also climbed 38 percent to Rs9.9 billion.

US stocks nearly flat

Wall Street closed nearly flat on Friday as inflation worries and struggling technology and energy stocks were offset by an advance in the consumer discretionary sector led by Amazon.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq eked out small gains while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged into negative territory by the end of the session.

All three major US indexes were down for the week at the end of a choppy session, ending two-week winning streaks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 11.15 points, or 0.05 percent, to 24,311.19, the S&P 500 gained 2.97 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,669.91 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.12 points, or 0.02 percent, to 7,119.80.

Amazon.com led the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, helping them close in positive territory as the online retailer’s shares rose 3.6 percent on the heels of a blockbuster earnings report. Brokerage firms have begun to value the company in excess of $1 trillion.

Microsoft was up 1.7 percent as the technology bellwether beat first-quarter expectations and grew its cloud computing services. Following a profit miss, Exxon Mobil weighed on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, falling 3.8 percent.

British shares climb

British shares climbed on Friday after weaker than expected GDP data triggered a slide in sterling, while Royal Bank of Scotland shares fell after its first-quarter results. Sterling’s fall boosted multinational dollar-earners on the FTSE 100, helping it jump 1 percent to its highest since Feb. 1, just before a rolling global sell-off spread across markets.

UK-listed consumer staples stocks, which overwhelmingly make earnings in dollars and translate them back into sterling, all made gains as the pound fell. Diageo, Unilever, British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands all rose 1.6 to 2.9 percent, the biggest boosts to the FTSE. Burberry also gained 3.1 percent.


Tokyo shares end higher

Tokyo stocks closed higher on Friday, underpinned by gains on Wall Street and investor confidence in corporate earnings, as well as expectations of a positive tone at a landmark inter-Korean summit. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.66 percent or 148.26 points to end at 22,467.87. Over the week, it rose 1.38 percent. The broader Topix index was up 0.29 percent or 5.10 points at 1,777.23. Over the week, it gained 1.49 percent.

India’s sensex, nifty higher

The benchmark Sensex spurted by over 200 points for the second straight day on Friday across-the-board buying by participants as Asian markets cheered a historic summit between North and South Korea.

The 30-share Sensex rallied over 256 points to end at a near 3-month high of 34,969.70, while the broader Nifty advanced 74.50 points to 10,692.30 as the May derivatives series got off to a strong start. The key indices gained for the fifth week in a row—their longest winning streak in a year. The Sensex surged 554.12 points, or 1.61 percent, while the Nifty gained 128.25 points, or 1.21 percent, during this week.

Saudi petrochemical shares under pressure

Saudi petrochemical stocks ended Thursday’s trading on the downside after some disappointing earnings, but key banking and property stocks helped the index close slightly higher.

The Saudi index closed 0.2 percent up at 8,248 points, hovering near the level last seen in August 2015. Petrochemicals firms were under pressure with the index’s most heavily weighted company, Saudi Basic Industries Corp, down 2.1 percent. SABIC will announce its quarterly results on Sunday.

TSX edges higher, led through financials

Canada’s main stock index climbed higher, led by financials, amid optimism of peace between both Koreas and expectations of a final NAFTA deal.

At 9:41 a.m. ET (1341 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 14.92 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,652.51. The heavy weight financial sector rose 0.3 percent, boosted by Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia , both of which were up 0.5 percent. Eight of Canada’s 10 main index sectors were higher. The energy index was down 0.3 percent as lower oil prices weighed on most energy companies. However, shares of Imperial Oil Ltd, which gained 2.6 percent, and Husky Energy , up about 1 percent, offset some of the index losses. Volume on the TSX index was 14.82 million shares, while the total volume on Friday was 23.65 million shares.

Sri Lankan shares edge up

Sri Lankan shares ended slightly firmer on Friday with block deals in blue chips pushing up the day’s turnover to a more than three-week high, although political uncertainty dampened investor appetite for risk assets, stockbrokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.14 percent firmer at 6,531.06. The index lost 0.15 percent on week. Shares of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc closed 4.3 percent higher, while Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc rose 1.6 percent. Turnover stood at 971.9 million rupees ($6.17 million), the highest since April 4, but less than this year’s daily average of 1.1 billion rupees.

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