US stocks keep losing streak
Wall Street’s main indexes fell for a fifth straight session on Friday and posted their biggest weekly declines since the market tumbled at the end of 2018, as a weak US jobs report ignited more concerns about the global economy. But Friday’s declines were only slight. Stocks significantly pared losses late in the day as investors reassessed the employment report and considered whether the market’s recent slump was ending.
The eventful session came as some Wall Street watchers prepared to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the start of the S&P 500’s bull market run that took root during the financial crisis.
US employment growth almost stalled in February, with the economy creating only 20,000 jobs, adding to signs of a sharp slowdown in economic activity in the first quarter. The payroll gains reported by the Labor Department were the weakest since September 2017. The weak US report added to economic fears also fanned by a sharp fall in China’s exports and after the European Central Bank slashed growth forecasts for the region on Thursday. But stocks finished well above their lows for the session, as investors noted the jobs report was affected by seasonal effects and the federal government shutdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.99 points, or 0.09 percent, to 25,450.24, the S&P 500 lost 5.86 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,743.07 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.32 points, or 0.18 percent, to 7,408.14. The Nasdaq snapped a 10-week streak of weekly gains.
The closely watched Dow Jones Transportation Average fell 0.5 percent, dropping for an 11th straight session, its longest streak of declines since 1972, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Pakistan KSE-100 further sheds 344 points
The stock market extended its losses on Friday and shed 344 points, ending the fourth consecutive session in the red. The fall came in the absence of positive triggers that could set direction of the market.
The KSE-100 index remained under pressure as cumulative losses in the past four days came in at almost 800 points. Fertiliser and exploration and production stocks bore the brunt of market’s weakness and both sectors closed entirely in the red. On the other hand, only one stock in the cement sector stood positive. Overall, trading volumes decreased to 74 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 83.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.76 billion. Shares of 333 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 69 stocks closed higher, 237 declined and 27 remained unchanged.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 12.47 million shares, losing Rs0.04 to close at Rs1.32. It was followed by The Bank of Punjab with 6.66 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs13.86 and Pakistan Stock Exchange with 6.62 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs18.21.
Hong Kong stocks rise on Beijing stimulus hopes
Hong Kong shares rose on Wednesday bolstered by optimism Beijing will pursue more stimulus measures this year to prop up a cooling economy, while investors watched for developments in the Sino-US trade talks.
The Hang Seng index rose 0.3 percent to 29,037.60, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.1 percent to 11,592.03 points. China’s state planner said on Wednesday the government will implement measures to further boost domestic consumption this year. The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.8 percent, while the IT sector rose 0.23 percent, the financial sector added 0.25 percent and the property sector advanced 0.87 percent.
Japan stocks lower; Nikkei down 2.01pc
Japan stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Shipbuilding, Chemical, Petroleum & Plastic and Banking sectors led shares lower. At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 declined 2.01 percent. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd, which rose 2.27 percent or 56.0 points to trade at 2519.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Sekisui House, Ltd added 1.42 percent or 24.0 points to end at 1709.0 and Nichirei Corp was up 0.62 percent or 17.0 points to 2769.0 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd, which fell 12.63percent or 198.0 points to trade at 1370.0 at the close. Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd declined 5.80 percent or 53.0 points to end at 861.0 and Advantest Corp was down 5.67 percent or 152.0 points to 2531.0.
France stocks decline
France stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Basic Materials, Financials and Consumer Services sectors led shares lower.
At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 fell 0.70 percent, while the SBF 120 index lost 0.68 percent. The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were WFD Unibail Rodamco NV, which rose 1.61 percent or 2.32 points to trade at 146.64 at the close. Meanwhile, Orange SA added 1.04 percent or 0.14 points to end at 13.56 and L’Oreal SA was up 0.44 percent or 1.00 points to 229.10 in late trade.
The worst performers of the session were EssilorLuxottica SA, which fell 6.30 percent or 6.85 points to trade at 101.80 at the close. ArcelorMittal SA declined 3.47 percent or 0.672 points to end at 18.710 and TechnipFMC PLC was down 2.93 percent or 0.56 points to 18.73.
FTSE 100 risers and fallers: index dips amid fears over global growth
The FTSE 100 index slipped 0.7 per cent on Friday driven by a plunge in gambling company GVC’s shares and poor Chinese export data that has sparked fears over global growth. GVC led the day’s fallers with its share price 13.82 per cent down after dropping as low as 18 per cent earlier in the day after its chief executive and chairman offloaded the majority of their holdings.
Housebuilder Ashtead dropped 4.15 percent to 1,895p, followed by mining company Antofagasta which fell 3.93 percent to 923.8p. Shares in packaging firm DS Smith, which this month announced it was selling its plastics division to US private equity firm Olympus Partners for $585m, fell 3.49 percent, followed by NMC Health which was down 3.24 percent.