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European stocks slide as UK tightens virus quarantine

August 14, 2020: European stock markets slumped on Friday at the end of a largely positive week for global equities, dragged down by fears of a second wave in coronavirus cases and the stalemate in Washington over a new stimulus package for the US economy.

Approaching the half-way mark, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 2.1 percent after the UK government reimposed a quarantine for travellers from France and the Netherlands, prompting Paris to quickly announce a "reciprocal measure".

The Paris CAC 40 index retreated 2.0 percent and Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 1.25 percent.

Asian ended mixed.

"European markets turned south on Friday led by a decline in travel and leisure stocks after the UK added France to its 14-day quarantine list," noted Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.

"After a decent start to the week it looks like equity markets are finishing off rather meekly."

Shares in British Airways parent IAG slumped six percent to 192 pence.

The updated quarantine "is sadly yet another blow for British holidaymakers and cannot fail to have an impact on an already troubled aviation industry", IAG said in a statement.

The UK government said the change would kick in Saturday at 0300 GMT, sparking an exodus among the estimated 160,000 British holidaymakers in France, after a rise in coronavirus cases there.

- US stimulus -

Equities were retreating Friday also over fading hopes of a US stimulus deal being struck -- and ahead of key weekend trade talks between the United States and China.

Hopes that Democrats and Republicans would cast aside their mutual animosity to stump up much-needed cash for struggling Americans have been key to supporting equities for weeks.

But they were dealt a blow Thursday when senators broke up for a summer recess, saying they would not return until early next month, while both sides continued to trade accusations over who was to blame for the impasse.

Democrats have called on Republicans and the White House to double their $1-trillion offer, having reduced their own proposal to $2 trillion from an initial $3.5 trillion.

The expectation remains that an agreement will at some point be found, particularly with the US election nearing and millions of Americans in financial crisis.

"Congress' political grandstanding delay is posing some risk for the global recovery," said Stephen Innes at AxiCorp.

In a sign of the battle governments could have in rebooting their economies, data out of China Friday showed consumers were still reluctant to go out spending, with retail sales falling last month despite forecasts of a small increase.

While the drop was shallower than in June, Innes said it showed that it was "going to take more than stimulus and deep discounts on luxury products to get people shopping again".

At the same time, industrial production continued to grow, suggesting the economy's recovery is being supported by the manufacturing sector.

Investors will be keeping a close eye on talks at the weekend between China and the US that will review the trade pact signed in January, though expectations are for the deal to be kept in place, despite increasing tensions between Washington and Beijing.

- Key figures around 1045 GMT -

  • London - FTSE 100: DOWN 2.1 percent at 6,057.98 points
  • Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 1.25 percent at 12,831.18
  • Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 2.0 percent at 6,057.98
  • EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.7 percent at 3,285.35
  • Tokyo: Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 23,289.36 (close)
  • Hong Kong: Hang Seng: DOWN 0.2 percent at 25,183.01 (close)
  • Shanghai: Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 3,360.10 (close)
  • New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 27,896.72 (close)
  • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1808 from $1.1820 at 2050 GMT
  • Dollar/yen: DOWN at 106.69 yen from 106.91 yen
  • Pound/dollar UP at $1.3097 from $1.3066
  • Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.14 pence from 90.41 pence
  • West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.6 percent at $42.00 per barrel
  • Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.5 percent at $44.74 per barrel


Independence Day Celebrations – DG Rangers Inaugurates JS Bank...

August 14, 2020:Committed to serving the community in which it operates, JS Bank has...

Waves Singer Company continues to make it big in...

August 14, 2020 (MLN): The appliance sector has been experiencing strong recovery after the easing of lockdown and improvement in economic dynamics, the Chief Executive Officer of Waves Singer Pakistan Limited, Mr. Haroon Khan informed in a webinar hosted by BMA Capital Management.

Commenting further on the factors that led to the recovery, the CEO said that the decline in interest rates by 625 basis points had been another major factor that contributed to the increased sales for appliances, as customers were able to obtain cheaper financing options to make the purchases.

The CEO also credited the opening of businesses across the country for an increase in demand for appliances and hoped that the opening of remaining businesses such as marriage halls, restaurants, and hotels will further boost the momentum.

According to BMA Research, Waves Singer Company, which currently holds a market share of 31% for the deep freezer and 7% for refrigerators, is expecting a higher increase in demand for the latter as it has significant potential to post growth going forward.

While the deep freezer segment is operating at its full capacity, the refrigerator segment is utilizing around 70% to 75% of its overall capacity, the CEO said. However, he was hopeful of an improvement in the capacity utilization of all the segments once the adverse business environment created due to COVID-19 ends. 

The management of the company is also planning to use both of its brands, i.e. Waves and Singer, to meet the needs of consumers belonging to different income brackets.

The CEO also spoke about how the appliance industry remains exposed to currency risks, as most of the raw materials are not locally available and therefore have to be imported. He also attributed the weaker margins of the company that were witnessed in the past to exchange rate risk.

Waves Singer Company also recently approved the Increase in Authorized Share Capital of the Company from PKR 2,000,000,000/- to PKR 3,000,000,000/- subject to the completion of necessary corporate and regulatory formalities.

The Board also approved the amendment in the Object Clause and other clauses of the Memorandum of Association (MOA) to add development of Affordable Housing Projects and all related Real Estate development activities into the Principal lines of business of the Company subject to the approval of Shareholders and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan "SECP" and other relevant authorities.

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Private Sector borrowing declines by Rs.17.50 Billion during the...

August 14, 2020 (MLN): The non-government sector has retired another net sum of Rs.17.47 billion during the week ended July 31, 2020, which brings the cumulative net retirment for ongoing fiscal year FY2021 to Rs.107.45 billion. The net retirement as of prior week was recorded at Rs.89.97 billion.

According to weekly data released by the State Bank of Pakistan, the sector's retired amount has dropped by Rs.27.1 billion over the year since the amount retired as of corresponding period of last year was recorded at Rs.134.55 billion.

The non government sector is divided into three broad categories namely, the Private Sector, the Public Sector Enterprises and NBFI. Commercial banks are the main source of financing for the private sector, incuding conventional banks, islamic banks and islamic branches of conventional banks.

This fiscal year, the private sector retired a net sum of Rs.110.29 billion, whereas the PSE's have borrowed Rs.2.52 billion and NBFI has borrowed Rs.326.46 million.

As we disintegrate the inflows and outflows within the private sector, we see that Conventional Banks were retired a cumulative sum of Rs.101.87 billion, Islamic Banks were retired a net of Rs.2.58 billion and lastly the Islamic branches of Conventional Banks were retired Rs.5.85 billion.


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Govt. borrowing jumps to Rs.259 billion as of...

August 14, 2020 (MLN): The government of Pakistan has accumulated Rs.5.87 billion during the week ended July 31, 2020, which brings its total net retirement for ongoing fiscal year FY2021 to Rs.259.34 billion. As of prior week, the government had retired a net sum of Rs.265.21 billion.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan's weekly estimates in this regard, the government had borrowed Rs.55.6 billion net, around the same time last year.

The government sector borrowings are divided into three broad categories based on the purpose of loan which are budgetary support, commodity operations and others.

Split three ways between these broad categories, the cumulative net retirement off budgetary support was Rs.252.06 billion, that for commodity operations stood at Rs.7.12 billion. whereas Rs.153.09 million (net) were retired off other miscellaneous operations.

The two biggest source of financing for budgetary support are the State Bank of Pakistan and the Scheduled Banks. This fiscal year, the central bank has been retired a net sum of Rs.457.21 billion by the government, out of which the Federal Government retired Rs.415.24 billion, the Provincial Government retired Rs.30.1 billion, AJK Government retired Rs.9.14 billion, and the GB Government retired Rs.2.74 billion.

On the other hand, the Scheduled Banks have lent out a net total of Rs.205.15 billion out of which the Federal Government borrowed Rs.205.15 billion while the Provincial Government retired Rs.0 billion.


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