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Global Stock Exchanges

US stocks end near record highs

US stocks closed near record highs on Friday after the largest US bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, soothed worries that the first-quarter earnings season would dampen Wall Street’s big rally back from last year’s slump.

The S&P 500 is now within a percent of September’s record closing high, and the S&P 500 Total Return Index, which includes reinvested dividends, in fact regained record levels, recovering ground lost after a punishing sell-off in the closing months of the year which brought the benchmark index within a rounding error of bear market territory.

Since then, the three major indexes notched their best quarterly gains in nearly a decade in the first quarter, but have spent April in a holding pattern ahead of first-quarter earnings season.

JPMorgan, effectively jump-starting the quarterly earnings reporting season that will dominate investor sentiment in coming weeks, blew past analyst estimates, easing fears that slowing economic growth could weigh on its results. Its stock rose 4.7% and led a broad rally in bank stocks.

Walt Disney Co jumped 11.5% to an all-time high, providing the biggest boost to the Dow and the S&P 500 after pricing its upcoming streaming service. Streaming rival Netflix Inc slid 4.5%.

The Nasdaq and the Dow are both about 1.5% below their previous record highs. For the week, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq showed their third straight gains, while the Dow posted a nominal weekly loss.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 269.25 points, or 1.03%, to 26,412.3, the S&P 500 gained 19.09 points, or 0.66%, to 2,907.41 and the Nasdaq Composite added 36.81 points, or 0.46%, to 7,984.16.

China stocks recoup losses, end flat

Shanghai stocks recouped losses to end flat on Friday, as better-than-expected exports brought some relief to investors looking for signs of stabilization in the world’s second-largest economy.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent, to 3,988.62 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended flat at 3,188.63 points. For the week, SSEC fell 1.8 percent, while CSI300 also shed 1.8 percent, snapping a four-week winning streak.

China’s exports rebounded in March, but imports shrank for a fourth straight month and at a sharper pace, painting a mixed picture of the economy, as trade talks with the United States reach their endgame.

Investors are hoping for more signs of economic recovery in China to temper worries about slowing global growth, after the IMF this week downgraded its 2019 world outlook for the third time.

India Sensex recovers 212 points

Buying in select bluechip counters such as ITC, Maruti, ICICI Bank and Infosys helped benchmark indices to settle in the positive territory on Friday. The S&P BSE Sensex recovered 212 points from day’s low to settle at 38,767, up 160 points or 0.41 per cent. FMCG major ITC emerged as the top gainer on the index with over 3 per cent gains while Tata Motors (down over 1 per cent) ened as the biggest loser.

The broader Nifty50 index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) settled at 11,643.45, up 47 points or 0.40 per cent, with 27 constituents advancing and 23 declining. On a weekly basis, Sensex lost 0.24 per cent while Nifty settled with 0.19 per cent decline.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index gained 44 points or 0.29 per cent to end at 15,426 while the S&P BSE SmallCap index added 56 points or 0.37 per cent to end at 15,022.

Sectorally, all the indices ended in the green with media stocks gaining the most, followed by FMCG and auto. The Nifty Media index gained over 1 per cent to end at 2,443 level.

Tokyo’s Nikkei index close higher

Tokyo’s main Nikkei index closed higher on Friday as the dollar’s rebound encouraged buying, but the broader Topix was down, with little fresh news to guide investors.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.73 percent to end at 21 870.56. Over the week, it rose 0.28percent.

The broader Topix index was down 0.07 percent at 1 605.40, falling 1.25 percent since last Friday’s close.

The market was “supported by a weaker yen,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note, adding that rising Fast Retailing shares also boosted the main index.

Among major shares, Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing surged 7.89percent to ¥59 880 after releasing a robust six-month earnings report on Thursday that showed brisk international sales.

Struggling engineering firm Toshiba dropped 2.71percent to ¥3 585 after it announced that Chinese chemicals maker ENN Ecological Holdings had decided not to buy the Japanese firm’s liquefied natural gas operations in the United States.

The decision deals a serious blow to Toshiba, which is going through painful and sweeping reforms to stay afloat after logging billions of dollars in losses from its disastrous acquisition of US nuclear firm Westinghouse.

Panasonic jumped 2.75percent to ¥1 015 following a report that the firm was suspending plans with US electric vehicle maker Tesla to expand a battery plant in Nevada due to weak demand for the vehicles.


France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.31percent

France stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Consumer Goods, Consumer Services and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.31percent to hit a new 6-months high, while the SBF 120 index climbed 0.38percent.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Societe Generale , which rose 3.97percent or 1.07 points to trade at 28.00 at the close. Meanwhile, BNP Paribas SA added 3.37percent or 1.51 points to end at 46.31 and Valeo SA was up 3.24percent or 0.95 points to 30.24 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Sanofi SA , which fell 2.26percent or 1.74 points to trade at 75.40 at the close. Accor SA declined 1.49percent or 0.56 points to end at 37.13 and Engie SA was down 1.31percent or 0.17 points to 13.20.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Eutelsat Communications SA which rose 4.71 percent to 15.90, Eramet SA which was up 4.69percent to settle at 59.32 and Technicolor which gained 4.20 percent to close at 1.166.

The worst performers were Rubis SCA which was down 3.77percent to 48.00 in late trade, Sanofi SA which lost 2.26percent to settle at 75.40 and Klepierre SA which was down 2.02percent to 32.03 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 353 to 217 and 99 ended unchanged.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 3.30percent to 12.24 a new 6-months low.

Germany stocks higher

Germany stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Technology, Basic Resources and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX gained 0.54percent, while the MDAX index added 0.84percent, and the TecDAX index gained 0.69percent.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were BASF SE NA O.N. , which rose 3.13percent or 2.180 points to trade at 71.790 at the close. Meanwhile, Infineon Technologies AG NA O.N. added 3.01percent or 0.605 points to end at 20.720 and Covestro AG was up 2.94percent or 1.580 points to 55.320 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Merck KGaA , which fell 2.08percent or 2.06 points to trade at 97.18 at the close. E.ON SE NA declined 1.29percent or 0.130 points to end at 9.918 and Beiersdorf AG O.N. was down 0.89percent or 0.840 points to 93.660.

The top performers on the MDAX were Carl Zeiss Meditec AG which rose 6.58percent to 76.100, Aareal Bank AG which was up 3.46percent to settle at 29.310 and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG which gained 3.34percent to close at 11.46.

The worst performers were Gerresheimer AG which was down 1.78percent to 69.100 in late trade, Drillisch AG which lost 1.39percent to settle at 32.600 and LEG Immobilien AG which was down 1.18percent to 104.300 at the close.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was down 2.86percent to 12.91 a new 6-months low.

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