KSE-100 dives 502 points as investors offload stocks
Bears dominated the stock market on Friday as the KSE-100 index shed over 500 points following fresh projection of economic slowdown and in the absence of major positive triggers. The index went down as Fitch Solutions, in a research note, anticipated that Pakistan’s economic growth would slow down to 4.1percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in FY20 coupled with reports of cancellation of $3.2 billion worth of oil facility from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Overall, trading volumes increased to 129.47 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 85.9 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.6 billion. Shares of 346 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 62 stocks closed higher, 270 declined and 14 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 38.6 million shares, losing Rs0.5 to close at Rs13.87. It was followed by K-Electric with 17.03 million shares, losing Rs0.23 to close at Rs5.67 and Unity Foods XR with 6.25 million shares, losing Rs0.56 to close at Rs13.61.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs288.5 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
US stocks move higher
US stocks rose on Friday, led by technology companies, as a report on progress in US-China trade talks lifted sentiment, pushing the S&P 500 to its best week since November. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said Washington and Beijing were making substantive progress on trade talks, providing relief after news that a summit to seal a deal between the two sides would not happen at March-end.
Chipmakers, which tend to derive a large portion of their revenue from China, rose. The Philadelphia SE chip index climbed 2.9 percent while the S&P 500 technology index rose 1.2 percent.
Boeing Co closed up 1.5 percent, lifting the Dow, after the world’s largest planemaker said a software upgrade for the 737 MAX aircraft will be rolled out in the coming weeks. Even so, Boeing’s shares for the week lost 10.3 percent. The company’s 737 MAX jets were grounded globally following a fatal crash involving one of its planes in Ethiopia on Sunday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 138.93 points, or 0.54 percent, to 25,848.87, the S&P 500 gained 14 points, or 0.50 percent, to 2,822.48 and the Nasdaq Composite added 57.62 points, or 0.76 percent, to 7,688.53. The S&P 500 posted its best weekly gain since the end of November and Nasdaq had its best weekly gain so far this year. For the week, the S&P 500 was up 2.9 percent, the Nasdaq was up 3.8 percent, and the Dow was up 1.6 percent.
Facebook Inc shares were down 2.5 percent after the social media giant said late on Thursday that Chief Product Officer Chris Cox would be leaving the company.
FTSE 100 rises after vote for Brexit delay
Gains by oil majors and optimism that a Brexit delay would help avert a disruptive no-deal departure helped Britain’s main stock index rise for a fifth straight day, while Frankie & Benny’s owner, Restaurant Group, advanced on strong earnings. The FTSE 100 advanced 0.5 percent and the FTSE 250 was 0.3 percent higher by 0826 GMT. Britain’s parliament approved asking the European Union for a short delay if lawmakers can agree on a Brexit deal by March 20, or a longer delay if nothing can be agreed in time. Shell and BP added 1 percent to the main index after U.S. crude prices rose to their highest this year. Production cuts and U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran helped boost prices.
India Sensex reclaims mount 38k, rallies 1,300 points
A blockbuster week for India markets as Sensex and Nifty50 surpassed their crucial resistance levels and closed with hefty gains for the week ended March 15. The S&P BSE Sensex rallied by 1,353 points or 3.69 percent while the Nifty50 rose 3.5 percent in just 5 trading sessions.
The S&P BSE Sensex closed above 38,000 for the first time since September 14, 2018, while the Nifty50 also reclaimed 11,400 for the first time since September 18, 2018, and is all set to hit higher target towards 11,500 levels.
Hong Kong shares end higher
The Hong Kong market closed higher on Friday, after China pledged to prop up slowing economic growth and appeared to make progress in its trade talks with the United States. At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 0.6 percent at 29,012.26 points, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.5 percent. The Hang Seng gained 2.8 percent this week, while H-shares were up 3.1 percent week-on-week. The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.5 percent, while the IT sector gained 1.1 percent, the financial sector ended 0.3 percent higher and the property sector rose 0.4 percent.
Japanese stocks surge
Japan stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Chemical, Petroleum & Plastic, Mining and Banking sectors led shares higher. At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.77percent. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Yaskawa Electric Corp, which rose 4.15percent or 135.0 points to trade at 3385.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Chiyoda Corp added 3.57percent or 10.0 points to end at 290.0 and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. was up 2.98percent or 49.0 points to 1696.0 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Unitika, Ltd, which fell 2.09percent or 9.0 points to trade at 422.0 at the close. T&D Holdings, Inc declined 2.01percent or 24.0 points to end at 1173.0 and Toho Zinc Co., Ltd was down 1.76percent or 60.0 points to 3350.0. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2211 to 1297 and 216 ended unchanged. Shares in Unitika, Ltd fell to 5-year lows; down 2.09percent or 9.0 to 422.0. Shares in T&D Holdings, Inc fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.01percent or 24.0 to 1173.0. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 4.17percent to 16.99.
France stocks move higher
France stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Utilities, Consumer Goods and Healthcare sectors led shares higher. At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 1.04percent to hit a new 3-months high, while the SBF 120 index added 0.94percent. The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were STMicroelectronics NV, which rose 4.99percent or 0.695 points to trade at 14.620 at the close. Meanwhile, Atos SE added 3.25percent or 2.72 points to end at 86.40 and Valeo SA was up 2.98percent or 0.79 points to 27.34 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Carrefour SA, which fell 1.28percent or 0.22 points to trade at 16.93 at the close. Publicis Groupe SA declined 0.28percent or 0.14 points to end at 50.36 and TechnipFMC PLC was down 0.15percent or 0.03 points to 20.42.