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Global Stock Exchanges

Pakistan stocks post handsome rally

The stock market staged a handsome rally on Friday and rose over 900 points in intraday trading as clarity emerged on the political front following a major cabinet reshuffle.

Although bearish activity erupted towards the end of the session, but the bourse managed to sustain most of the gains. Earlier, trading kicked off on a positive note as renewed buying, buoyed by strong investor sentiments, helped maintain the uptrend in the market.

The first session ended with a rise of 620 points. Overall, trading volumes decreased to 177.4 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 216.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.6 billion. Shares of 334 companies were traded.

At the end of the day, 241 stocks closed higher, 78 declined and 15 remained unchanged. The Bank of Punjab (XD) was the volume leader with 28.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.99 to close at Rs12.61. It was followed by K-Electric with 13.6 million shares, losing Rs0.03 to close at Rs5.03 and Unity Foods with 10.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.50 to close at Rs12.35. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs83.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

US indices Dow and S&P surge

Industrials led the S&P 500 and the Dow moderately higher on Thursday after robust US economic data and some healthy corporate earnings reports.

All three major US stock indexes closed in positive territory heading into the three-day weekend.

For the holiday-shortened week, the S&P snapped its three-week winning streak, while the Dow and the Nasdaq posted weekly gains.

The bellwether S&P 500 has hovered within a percent of its all-time high for the last five sessions.

With reporting season in full swing, January-March S&P 500 profits are expected to have dropped 1.7% year-on-year, which would mark the first decline in quarterly earnings since 2016.

Of the 77 S&P 500 companies that have released results thus far, 77.9% have beaten consensus, compared with the 65% average beat rate going back to 1994.

Among earnings misses, Schlumberger NV reported a 20% drop in first-quarter profit. Its shares slipped 3.9%.

American Express Co’s quarterly revenue fell short of analyst estimates, but the stock ended the session up 1.7%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110 points, or 0.42%, to 26,559.54, the S&P 500 gained 4.58 points, or 0.16%, to 2,905.03 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.98 points, or 0.02%, to 7,998.06. Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, seven closed in the black.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.07-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.05-to-1 ratio favored decliners.


France stocks higher

France stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Industrials, Technology and Oil & Gas sectors led shares higher. At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.31 percent to hit a new 6-months high, while the SBF 120 index gained 0.30 percent. The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Schneider Electric SE which rose 2.72 percent or 2.04 points to trade at 77.00 at the close. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 0 to 0. The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 2.94 percent to 11.38 a new 6-months low.

Hong Kong stocks end lower

Hong Kong stocks fell on Thursday to end below the 30,000-mark, a psychologically key resistance level, as investors booked profits while awaiting fresh catalysts following a spate of economic data this week that offered tentative signs of an economic rebound on the mainland.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.5 percent to 29,963.26 points, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.7 percent to close at 11,768.63 points. China’s economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, data showed on Wednesday, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed signs of improvement. Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.44 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.84 percent.


Japanese stocks decline

Japan stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as in the sectors led shares. At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 unchanged 0.00 percent. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd. which rose 5.96 percent or 330.0 points to trade at 5870.0 at the close.

Meanwhile, Chiyoda Corp. added 5.57 percent or 19.0 points to end at 360.0 and Minebea Mitsumi Inc was up 4.53 percent or 87.0 points to 2007.0 in late trade. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1947 to 1511 and 247 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 5.73 percent to 14.82 a new 6-months low.

India’s Sensex, Nifty hit record highs

Finally, the market has broken its consolidation of the last few weeks on the positive side and registered fresh record highs in the truncated week ended April 18. It was despite profit booking in the last session ahead of an extended long weekend and mixed global cues.

Benchmark indices gained nearly a percent during the week, driven by better monsoon outlook from IMD and hope of likely US-China trade deal. Optimism over March quarter earnings and positive global cues also lifted sentiment. The BSE Sensex hit a record high of 39,487.45 and the Nifty50 touched an all-time high of 11,856.15. FIIs remained strongly active in the market given the strong start to Q4 earnings as they net bought more than Rs 2,000 crore worth of shares during three trading sessions week, taking total inflow to more than Rs 64,000 crore in February-March-April, partly due to decline in US treasury yields. But the major action was seen in smallcaps rather than midcaps, as about 39 percent stocks in BSE Smallcap index closed in green, of which top 22 stocks surged between 10 percent and 37 percent.

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