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Pakistan stocks bearish again

After a positive finish on Thursday, the KSE-100 turned bearish once again, falling 261 points as political and economic uncertainty took toll on investor sentiment. The KSE-100 opened on a positive note, with the index crossing the 44,000 mark, as investors resumed buying. However, the momentum could not be sustained and the index fell to hit a low of 43,550.68.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 260.99 points or 0.60 percent to settle at 43,594.79. However, on account of political noise and foreign selling, the KSE-100 Index plummeted to close 261 points below on Thursday’s closing, at 43,595 level.

Major laggards were HUBC (-2.34%), SNGP (-3.96%), and LUCK (-1.02%) as they wiped away 74 points from the index. On the flipside, HBL (+0.70%), SSGC (+4.17%) and UBL (+0.44%) cumulatively contributed 35 points to the index.

On the economic front, trade deficit in April-2018 was down 3% year-on-year. On sector-wise front, cement sector came under pressure where CHCC (-1.08%), FCCL (-1.10%), LUCK (-1.02%) and DGKC (-0.80%) lost value to close in the red zone.

Overall, shares of 371 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 91 stocks closed higher, 255 declined while 25 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.1 billion. Trading volumes rose to 164.7 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 196.3 million.

Dewan Cement was the volume leader with 13.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.17 to close at Rs19.67. It was followed by First Dawood Investment with 12.8 million shares, losing Rs0.99 to close at Rs4.02 and Sui South Gas with 11.8 million shares, gaining Rs1.47 to close at Rs36.69. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs205.6 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

US stocks rise after Trump blasted high drug prices

The S&P 500 rose on Friday, helped by healthcare stocks after President Donald Trump blasted high drug prices but avoided taking aggressive measures to cut them.

Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer each rose over 1 percent while Merck & Co jumped 2.8 percent after Trump in a speech said foreign governments “extort” unreasonably low prices from US drugmakers. His healthcare deputies released a series of proposals to address high drug costs.

The S&P healthcare index ended 1.47 percent higher, while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index rallied 2.68 percent.

The tech sector slipped 0.32 percent, with Apple Inc dropping 0.38 percent after a nine-day winning streak that saw the iPhone maker edge closer to $1 trillion in market capitalization.

Also weighing on tech was Nvidia, which fell 2.15 percent on worries that a short-term surge in demand for graphics chips from cryptocurrency miners may be undermining the company’s core business with computer gamers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.37 percent to end at 24,831.17 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.17 percent to 2,727.72, its highest close since mid-March. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.03 percent to 7,402.88.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.3 percent, the S&P 500 added 2.4 percent, and the Nasdaq climbed 2.7 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.24-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.23-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 30 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 137 new highs and 51 new lows.

European shares decline

Europe’s main stock markets ran out of steam Friday in an uninspired performance amid a dearth of economic data. London stocks turned flat, having won 0.5 percent the previous day on the weak pound after the Bank of England held interest rates but cut its 2018 economic growth forecast.

Frankfurt and Paris meanwhile declined by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively. European equity markets are mixed as a lack of macroeconomic news has left traders uninspired.

Stocks in Europe have had a good run recently, and this could just be a case of the bulls taking a breather. Asian bourses extended this week’s gains after another Wall Street rally, as traders welcomed below-forecast US inflation data that dented expectations for a sharp lift in US interest rates.


Tokyo shares jump as high-tech shares rally

Tokyo stocks leapt on Friday, led by rallies in high-tech shares, after Wall Street gains outweighed concern about geopolitical risk over US plans to open an embassy in Jerusalem next week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.16 percent or 261.30 points to 22,758.48, while the broader Topix index was up 0.98 percent or 17.34 points at 1,794.96.

China shares down, Hong Kong keeps rising

Hong Kong stocks clocked up five straight days of gains on Friday as investors tracked another positive lead from Wall Street after a soft inflation reading soothed concerns about rising US interest rates. The Hang Seng Index rose 1.02 percent or 312.84 points to close at 31,122.06. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.35 percent, or 11.15 points, to 3,163.26 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, fell 1.02 percent, or 18.90 points, to 1,825.14.

India’s market move higher

The bulls took centrestage in opening deals on Friday, thus helping headline indices to log decent gains. At 09:24 am, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading 62 points higher at 35,308 with Asian PaintsNSE 5.65 percent (up 2 percent) being the top index gainer and Bharti AirtelNSE -6.19 percent (down 6 per cent) the worst laggard. On similar lines, the broader Nifty50 index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading 20.45 points higher at 10,737, wit. Among specific stocks, PC Jeweller shot up 18 percent in the early trade after the company on Thursday approved buyback of up to 1.21 crore shares at Rs 350. The company said the aggregate amount will not exceed Rs 424 crore. At 09:30 am, shares of the company were trading at Rs 222.75 apiece, up 6.58 percent.

Canadian index grows

Canada’s main stock index opened higher on Friday after data showed unexpected job losses in April, raising the odds that the Bank of Canada will hold interest rates steady.

At 9:32 a.m. ET (1332 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 25.09 points, or 0.16 percent, to 15,984.59.

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