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Trade row knocks stock markets

London, May 20: Equity markets on both sides of the Atlantic slid Monday as investors fretted over the latest flare-up in the China-US trade war.

Eurozone heavyweights Frankfurt and Paris were each down more than 1.5 percent, while London held up better thanks to a weak pound, as investors tracked ongoing Brexit turmoil.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index fell over 100 points at the opening bell.

"US stocks are lower in early action, with the technology sector being pressured by the potential fallout of the escalated trade tensions between the US and China," the Charles Schwab brokerage said in a note.

In the midst of a trade war with Beijing, President Donald Trump has barred US companies from engaging in telecommunications trade with foreign companies said to threaten American national security.

US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world's smartphones, then announced that it was beginning to cut ties with China's Huawei, which Washington considers a national security threat.

- No quick fix -

"Equity markets are in the red... as dealers are still worried about the trade standoff between the US and China," said analyst David Madden at trading firm CMC Markets UK.

"The fact that Washington has effectively blocked Huawei from the US market is likely to drag out the trade dispute, and the prospect of a quick solution seems slim."

The move could have dramatic implications for Huawei smartphone users, as the Chinese telecoms giant will no longer have access to Google's proprietary services -- including Gmail and Google Maps apps -- a source close to the matter told AFP.

Reports also emerged Monday that several US chipmakers providing vital hardware for Huawei's smartphones have stopped supplying the Chinese firm.

SEB emerging markets strategist Per Hammarlund said that the latest development made it unlikely that Beijing and Washington would end their dispute in the runup to next month's G20 summit in Japan.

"Chances of a breakthrough before the G20 summit... are very small, with both sides likely reassessing their strategies following the failure to reach an agreement in Washington -- and the move by the US to blacklist Huawei," Hammarlund said.

- Sliver of hope -

However, most Asian markets rose Monday after Trump showed signs of conciliation elsewhere.

Global markets have been in turmoil for two weeks since Trump threatened -- and later delivered -- a hike in tariffs on Chinese imports, to which Beijing retaliated and relit their debilitating trade battle.

The move also threw a spanner in the works for long-running negotiations between the economic superpowers that were thought to have been close to conclusion.

But there was a sliver of hope after Trump on Friday removed steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico and announced a six-month delay in imposing steep tariffs on auto imports as he seeks talks with Japan and the EU on the issue.

Meanwhile, Mumbai equities and the rupee soared on the back of exit polls suggesting business-friendly Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on course to be re-elected.

Sydney stocks and the Australian dollar rallied after a shock win for the conservatives, while Japanese dealers were cheered by forecast-beating GDP data.

However, the pound is wallowing near four-month lows on fears Britain will leave the European Union in October without a divorce deal.

- Key figures around 1330 GMT -

  • London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.8 percent at 7,291.74 points
  • Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 1.7 percent at 12,028.03
  • Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 1.7 percent at 5,344.58
  • EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.7 percent at 3,366.54
  • New York - Dow: DOWN 0.5 percent at 25,645.45
  • Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 21,301.73 (close)
  • Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.6 percent at 27,787.61 (close)
  • Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 2,870.60 (close)
  • Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2731 from $1.2724 at 2100 GMT
  • Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.65 pence from 87.72 pence
  • Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1160 from $1.1158
  • Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.93 yen from 110.08 yen
  • Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 15 cents at $72.06 per barrel
  • Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 28 cents at $62.64

 

(AFP/APP)

SECP launches awareness video series

ISLAMABAD, May 20: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has launched its first investor awareness video series, based on seven themes: capital market, commodities market, Islamic finance, insurance, mutual funds, anti-money laundering/CFT and company incorporation, through its JamaPunji web portal, Twitter and Facebook platforms.

The launch is aimed at embracing the digitalization wave and use the mass media and social media effectively to spread investor awareness.  It seeks to educate the public about legitimate investment opportunities, ease of doing business and financial scams.

Drawing on the expertise of SECP officers, the interactive videos cover frequently asked questions (FAQs), and lay out the procedures and dos and don’ts to better equip them for personal financial planning.  The videos also offer guidance on how to get their complaints resolved.

Viewers can conveniently access these videos on their smart phones while having the option of sharing them further with their friends and family. This material is also being shared with universities for classroom discussions.

This initiative promises to have a multiplier effect by providing investors access to this crucial knowledge nationwide. 

SBP exceeds market expectation, policy rates up by 150...

May 20, 2019 (MLN): Exceeding market’s expectation, the State Bank of Pakistan has announced further contraction in Monetary Policy for the month of June and July, thus bring it up by 150 basis points (bps) to 12.25%.

A meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee took place in Karachi earlier today, whereby the committee decided upon the aforesaid action.

The announced policy rate will be applicable from May 21, 2019.

 

Copyright Mettis Link News

PKR loses another 1.8 rupees to greenback

May 20, 2019 (MLN): Pakistani rupee (PKR) depreciated by 1.8 rupees against US Dollar (USD) at today's interbank session as the currency closed the day's trade at PKR 149.65 per USD, against previous session's closing of PKR 147.88 per USD.

Towards the end of today's session, tom settlement was traded at PKR 152 per USD and closed at PKR 150/150.5 against greenback.

Meanwhile, the currency lost 1.6 rupees against Pound Sterling as the day's closing quote stood at PKR 190.71 per GBP, while the previous session closed at PKR 189.08 per GBP.

Similarly, PKR's value weakened by 1.6 rupees against EUR which closed at PKR 166.92 at the interbank today.

Within the Open Market, PKR was traded at 149.50/151 per USD.

Today's depreciation has further weighed down Pakistan's external debt burden by Rs.187.57 billion which in dollar terms account for a $105.84 billion. Pakistan now owes external avenues a total of Rs.15.84 trillion.

On another note, within the money market, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an Open Market Operation in which it mopped up Rs.26.5 billion for 3 days at 10.69 percent.

Meanwhile, the overnight repo rate towards close of the session was 10/10.5 percent.

Copyright Mettis Link News

Weekly SPI decreases by 0.32 percent

May 20, 2019 (MLN): The Weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the Combined Group decreased by 0.32% during the week ended May 16, 2019 while the SPI increased by 11.92% compared to the corresponding period from last year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the Combined Index was at 253.56 compared to 254.38 on May 09, 2019 while the index was recorded at 226.56 a year ago, on May 17, 2018

Out of the 53 monitored items, the average price of 19 items increased, 7 items decreased whereas 27 items registered no change during the week.

The weekly SPI percentage change by income groups showed that SPI decreased across all quantiles ranging between 0.34% and 0.3%.

The Lowest Income Group witnessed a weekly decrease of 0.33% while the highest income group recorded a decrease of 0.3%.

On a yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 8.93% and 16.04%.

Yearly SPI for the Lowest Income Group increased by 9.39% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 16.04%.

The average price of Sona urea stood at Rs.1827 per 50 kg bag which is 0.11% lower than last week’s price and 23.03% higher when compared to last year.

Meanwhile, average Cement price was recorded at Rs.544 per 50 kg bag, which is 2.16% lower than the previous week and 0.91% lower than prices last year.

 

Copyright Mettis Link News

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