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Pakistan stocks hammered as KSE-100 index dives 861 points

Pakistan stocks took a beating on Friday as concerns over macroeconomic situation of the country and political developments pushed the KSE-100 index down by 1,057 points in intra-day trading. Earlier, the market lost 745 points before midday break.

According to data shared by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday, the official foreign currency reserves dropped to nearly a four-year low of just $8.4 billion. Last time, on November 21, 2014, the country’s reserves had slid to $8.5 billion.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 860.77 points or 2.15 percent to settle at 39,226.35. Overall, trading volumes increased to 154.1 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 110.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.4 billion. Shares of 367 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 43 stocks closed higher, 311 declined and 13 remained unchanged. WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 9.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.04 to close at Rs1.68.

US stocks fall as solid jobs report boosts bond yields

US stocks dropped for a second straight day on Friday, weighed down by another rise in Treasury yields in the wake of a solid jobs report that capped off a week of robust data.

The losses were led by heavyweight stocks in the technology and communication services sectors including all members of the so-called FAANG group – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet. Online retailer Amazon, part of the consumer discretionary sector, lost 1 percent.

Nonfarm payrolls increased less than expected in September, likely due to the effect of Hurricane Florence, though data for July and August was revised higher, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent, a Labor Department report showed.

The report pushed longer-dated US Treasury yields higher, with the 10-year note touching 3.248 percent. That piled more pressure on U.S. stocks, which are trading near record-high levels, raising concerns about valuations in the pricier names with the corporate earnings reporting season on tap.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 180.43 points, or 0.68 percent, to 26,447.05, the S&P 500 lost 16.04 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,885.57 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 91.06 points, or 1.16 percent, to 7,788.45. For the week, the S&P fell 0.98 percent, the Dow slipped 0.04 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 3.2 percent. It was the biggest weekly decline for the Nasdaq since March.

NIKKEI drops to 2-week lows

Japan’s Nikkei fell to its lowest close in two-weeks on Friday, tracking weakness on Wall Street as rising US Treasury yields have dimmed the allure of most stocks except financial ones.

The Nikkei share average ended 0.8 percent lower to 23,783.72, the weakest close since Sept. 20. Earlier this week, the index traded above the 24,000 mark and hit 27-year highs. The banking sector surged 1.1 percent on Friday and was the board’s biggest gainer with Chiba Bank surging 3.1 percent and Shizuoka Bank 2.8 percent. On Friday, the Topix dropped 0.5 percent to 1,792.65. The Nikkei fell 1.4 percent for the week after posting three straight weekly gains, rising 7.9 percent in total.

European shares fall on bond yield spike before US jobs data

European stocks opened lower on Friday and were set for their biggest weekly loss in a month due to rising yields ahead of US jobs data which is expected to shed light on whether higher interest rates will be needed to stop the economy overheating. US Treasury bond yields are at a seven-year high, echoing a market correction in February when rising yields on risk-free government debt made equities less attractive.

At 0843 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark index was down 0.6 percent and set for its biggest weekly loss in a month. Germany’s DAX also declined 0.4 percent and the UK’s FTSE fell 0.7 percent. Among the top movers was Danske Bank, which is facing a US criminal investigation into a 200 billion euro ($230 billion) money laundering scandal at its Estonian branch. Shares in Denmark’s biggest bank were down 8.7 percent after a rating cut by Credit Suisse.

Australian shares gain, but in red for week

Australian shares edged higher on Friday, supported by gains from the scandal-hit financial sector which managed to advance for a second session, but not enough to stop the benchmark from a weekly loss.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.2 percent higher at 6,185.5. The benchmark is off 0.4 percent for the week, despite gaining over the last two sessions, including a 0.5 percent rise on Thursday. Financial stocks rose 0.4 percent, though for the week the index lost 1.4 percent, reflecting relentless pressure after a months-long inquiry revealed widespread misconduct in the sector. The country’s number two lender Westpac Banking Corp rose 0.5 percent, while National Australia Bank inched 0.2 percent lower.

HK stocks at 3-week low

Stocks in Hong Kong closed at their lowest level since September 12 on Friday, as a plunge in technology shares renewed concerns over the impact of US-China trade war on the sector.

The Hang Seng Index was down 0.19 percent at 26,572.57. The index lost 4.4 percent this week, clocking its steepest weekly fall since early February. Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.16 percent to 10,530.32. China’s financial markets will resume trade on Oct. 8 after a week-long National Day holiday Technology stocks took a hammering on Friday after a Bloomberg report claimed that China infiltrated US tech systems.

South Korean stocks fall

Round-up of South Korean financial markets: South Korea’s KOSPI stock index ended lower on Friday on fears of foreign fund outflows after US Treasury yields surged to a fresh seven-year high and strong US economic data fanned risks of faster-than-expected interest rate hikes. The Korean won edged lower, while bond yields rose.

The key stock index fell 1 percent in intraday trading before recovering partially on bullish third-quarter profit forecast by Samsung and net purchases by institutional investors. The KOSPI closed 6.97 points, or 0.31 percent, lower at 2,267.52, extending falls into a fifth session. For the week, the benchmark index dropped 3.2 percent. The won was quoted at 1,130.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.04 percent weaker than its previous close at 1,129.9. The won extended losses into a fourth session and fell 1.9 percent on a weekly basis.

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