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KSE-100 soars over 900 points on Chinese support hopes

The KSE-100 index advanced beyond expectations on Friday and climbed over 900 points as investors anticipated a positive outcome from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming visit to China, which may announce some financial assistance for Pakistan to avert a balance of payments crisis. Saudi Arabia has already agreed on giving a $6-billion financial package to Pakistan to help shore up the dwindling foreign currency reserves.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 924.54 points or 2.33 percent to settle at 40,556.45. Overall, trading volumes increased to 368.3 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 343.9 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.98 billion. Shares of 396 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 278 stocks closed higher, 104 declined and 14 remained unchanged. The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 53.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs12.12. It was followed by Lotte Chemical with 25 million shares, gaining Rs0.7 to close at Rs19.92 and K-Electric Limited with 14.93 million shares, gaining Rs0.18 to close at Rs5.99. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs387.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

US stocks off session lows

US stocks were well off session lows on Friday afternoon, with the S&P retreating from correction levels, helped by a sharp recovery in Alphabet and data showing the US economy continued to grow at a healthy pace.

US gross domestic product growth slowed less than expected in the third quarter as a tariff-related drop in soybean exports was partially offset by the strongest consumer spending in nearly four years and a surge in inventory investment.

Google-parent Alphabet’s revenue missed estimates, fanning concerns that regulatory scrutiny and competition would throttle its scorching pace of growth. But the stock recovered from a drop of as much as 5.6 percent to trade down 0.5 percent.

Amazon tumbled 6.7 percent after it missed quarterly sales estimates and gave a below par holiday-season sales forecast.

Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Netflix Inc, the other members of the so-called FAANG group, were down between 0.5 percent and 2 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 148.10 points, or 0.59 percent, at 24,836.45, the S&P 500 was down 23.46 points, or 0.87 percent, at 2,682.11 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 71.42 points, or 0.98 percent, at 7,246.92.

Despite the pullback on Friday, the three indexes are on track for their worst month in years, with the Nasdaq in correction territory. The indexes hit record highs between Aug. 30 and Oct. 3.

The S&P is on course for its worst month in more than nine-and-a-half years and at the day’s low was on pace to confirm it was in correction territory, a level when an index closes 10 percent or more below its all-time closing high.


India’s Sensex, nifty hit 7-month low

Domestic stock markets extended falls on Friday to end the session at a seven-month low. Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) benchmark index Sensex closed 340.78 points or 1.01 per cent lower at 33,349.31.

This is the lowest closing after April 4 when it had finished at 33,019.07. The wider Nifty50 index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) shed 94.90 points or 0.94 percent to settle at 10,030.00. This is its weakest closing after March 23, when the gauge had ended at 9998.05 points. Most of the sectoral indices, led by banks, IT and FMCG closed in the negative zone.

Saudi stocks surge after crown prince assurances

The Saudi stock market surged Thursday a day after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made his first public comments on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and vowed to press on with reforms.

The Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) rose 4.3 percent to close trading on the last day of the week on 7,835.54 points. The market has so far regained almost all the losses it has sustained since journalist Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. TASI, the largest Arab bourse, is 8.4 percent higher on the year. The market came under tremendous pressure, diving seven percent during trading on October 14 over the Khashoggi crisis before state-held funds stepped in to support the bourse.

Hong Kong shares end with big losses, Shanghai bounces

Hong Kong stocks sank today, in line with a rout across most Asian markets that followed a plunge on Wall Street, with Cathay Pacific hammered after admitting a massive passenger data hack. The Hang Seng Index slipped 1.01 per cent, or 255.32 points, to 24,994.46. However, it was well off the losses of more than 2 per cent seen in the morning session. But the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.50 points to 2,603.80 on late afternoon bargain-buying, though the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, 0.34 per cent, or 4.42 points, to 1,292.60.

Europe markets calm after Asia and US sink

Tokyo stocks slumped more than 3 percent, while losses pushed the US Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 into negative territory for the year. European markets followed suit at first, but had risen by lunchtime, with London’s FTSE 100 up 0.17 percent. Concerns over corporate profits and slowing growth have rattled investors. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 2.4 percent to 24,583.4 points, while the S&P 500 plunged 3.1 percent to 2,656.1 points on Wednesday. The technology-focused Nasdaq dropped more than 4.4 percent to 7,108.4 points – its worst day since 2011 – amid concerns about weak corporate profits and global trade tensions.

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