STOCK EXCHANGES AROUND THE WORLD
Pakistan stocks index gains 96 points amid uncertainty
The stock market endured a volatile session on Friday as diverse expectations about the monetary policy announcement caused uncertainty at the bourse. Street expectations about the benchmark interest rate ranging from a hike of up to 75 basis points to a fall of 25 to 50 basis points kept the KSE-100 index range bound and the market rose just 96 points.
The cement sector performed well because of the release of sales data, which displayed growth against expectations, but selling pressure restricted the price rise. Traded value stood at $37 million, up 18percent and volumes stood at 138 million shares, up 4percent.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 137.7 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 132.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.2 billion. Shares of 328 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 177 stocks closed higher, 129 declined and 22 remained unchanged. Unity Foods (R) was the volume leader with 25.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.32 to close at Rs2.69.
US stocks surge, set to end quarter on high note
US stocks were on track on Friday to end the final trading day of the first quarter on a strong note, boosted by optimism over trade talks between the United States and China.
The two sides said they made progress on trade talks, which concluded on Friday in Beijing and were called “candid and constructive” by Washington. The Chinese state news agency reported the two countries discussed “relevant agreement documents.” A Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He will head to Washington next week for another round of talks.
The benchmark S&P 500 has risen roughly 13 percent so far this quarter. Trade-sensitive industrials rose 0.8 percent, while chipmakers, which have a large revenue exposure to China, also gained, with the Philadelphia chip index also higher.
The broader technology sector gained 0.7 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153.18 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,870.64, the S&P 500 gained 13.32 points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,828.76 and the Nasdaq Composite added 49.40 points, or 0.64 percent, to 7,718.56.
Ride-hailing startup Lyft Inc surged more than 20 percent after making its debut on the Nasdaq. The stock was last up about 12 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.71-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.53-to-1 ratio favored advancers. The S&P 500 posted 33 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 53 new highs and 38 new lows.
FTSE 100 gains as trade progress
Britain’s FTSE 100 rose on Friday as miners benefited from progress in the latest round of Sino-US trade talks, while the mid-cap index rallied despite lawmakers rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for the third time.
The FTSE 100 added 0.6 percent to post its third straight month of gains and its first quarterly rise since June 2018. The domestically focused FTSE 250 surged 1.1 percent for its best quarter since September 2016, despite a lacklustre March as Brexit concerns mounted. Ireland’s main index, often considered a barometer of Brexit jitters, advanced 1.5 percent.
Saudi’s SABIC loses steam, ex-dividend stocks hit Abu Dhabi
Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Thursday aided by its banks, even as Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) gave up most of its early gains spurred by news of Aramco’s purchase of a large stake in the petrochemicals group. Abu Dhabi edged down as some stocks traded ex-dividend.
Saudi Arabia’s index was up 0.3 percent with Al Rajhi Bank adding 1 percent and National Commercial Bank rising 2 percent. Heavyweight SABIC lost 0.3 percent after gaining as much as 2.7 percent earlier in the session. The world’s largest oil producer Saudi Aramco agreed to buy a 70 percent stake in the firm from the Public Investment Firm (PIF) for $69.1 billion.
The Abu Dhabi index dipped 0.2 percent, led by a 5.7 percent drop in Aldar Properties and a 0.8 percent slide in Emirates Telecommunications Group as they traded ex-dividend. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank also shed 1.5 percent after trading ex-dividend.
Indian shares moving towards best month
Indian shares traded little changed on Friday in the absence of market-moving news, but were headed for their best month since March 2016 amid strong foreign fund inflows on expectation the current coalition government would return to power.
Foreign investors have bought equities worth a net $4.38 billion this month, the highest since March 2017, after 2018’s net outflows of $4.4 billion.
The broader NSE index was up 0.10 percent at 11,581.75 as of 0525 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.09 percent higher at 38,582.06. Both indexes have gained about 7.5 percent this month, and over 1 percent for the week in what would be their sixth straight weekly rise. For the quarter, the NSE index has gained about 6.6 percent, its biggest in five quarters, while the BSE index has risen 7 percent, its best in three quarters.
China stocks jump on opening-up pledge, trade hopes
China stock jumped on Friday as investors cheered Beijing’s pledge to further liberalise financial markets, and on renewed hopes of progress in US-China trade talks.
The CSI300 index rose 3.0 percent, to 3,840.84, at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.4 percent, to 3,065.75. The CSI300 financials index rose 3.7 percent by the lunch break. Hopes of progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks also lifted sentiment.
Japan stocks higher
Japan stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Transport, Fishery and Transportation Equipment sectors led shares higher.
At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.82percent. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd, which rose 15.91percent or 700.0 points to trade at 5100.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd added 4.06percent or 94.0 points to end at 2410.0 and Daikin Industries, Ltd was up 3.31percent or 415.0 points to 12970.0 in late trade.
France stocks move up
France stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Healthcare, Consumer Goods and Technology sectors led shares higher. At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 1.02 percent, while the SBF 120 index climbed 1.03 percent.
The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were STMicroelectronics NV, which rose 3.42percent or 0.435 points to trade at 13.165 at the close. Meanwhile, Safran SA added 3.03percent or 3.60 points to end at 122.25 and Carrefour SA was up 2.30percent or 0.38 points to 16.65 in late trade.