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Markets extend rally as optimism abounds on vaccine, US...

November 25, 2020: Asian markets rallied Wednesday following a blockbuster performance on Wall Street as vaccine successes and easing US political uncertainty boosted investor confidence in the economic recovery.

Signs that infection rates in Europe are slowing enough to allow some countries to ease lockdown measures added to the sense of hope across trading floors.

However, still-high death numbers and a pick-up in new cases in several Asian nations tempered the excitement.

Hopes for a worldwide rollout of an inoculation were given an extra lift Tuesday when Russia said its Sputnik V drug had shown to be 95 percent effective, making it the fourth that could be available soon after similar positive announcements from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

"While the logistical challenges will still be immense, the geographic diversity of the possible suppliers is promising," said Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman.

"The fact that several European outbreaks seemed to have peaked was another bullish catalyst... as even though the US wave is lagging behind the European one by several weeks, the end of the current domestic outbreaks could be closer than previously thought."

The medical breakthroughs come as political uncertainty appears to be waning in Washington after government officials began the crucial transition process paving the way for Joe Biden to enter the White House.

While he still denies losing the November 3 election, Donald Trump's decision to sign off on the move by the General Services Administration (GSA) was effectively an admission of defeat.

Investors are also upbeat about Biden's cabinet picks so far, particularly former Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen's nomination as treasury secretary, with optimism she can work well with current central bank head Jerome Powell.

"A Yellen-Powell policy combination in government and the central bank is as dovish and positive as one can imagine for risk assets," said Axi's Stephen Innes. "Even if Congress balks at further significant fiscal stimulus... investors will position for high-profile policymaker pressure starting to bear fruit."

Wall Street's three main indexes ended more than one percent higher Tuesday, with the Dow closing above 30,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 also notching up a record.

The rally seeped through to Asia, which was already enjoying a broadly healthy week.

Tokyo, Hong Kong and Jakarta were all more than one percent higher, while Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei and Wellington were also well up.

The gains were led by energy firms and tourism-linked companies such as airlines as traders bet on a boost to business as the world slowly returns to some sense of normality.

Expectations of a rise in demand supported oil prices, which have jumped around a quarter over the past month and are now sitting at levels not seen since March, before they crashed into negative territory.

High-yielding currencies such as the South Korean won, South African rand, Russian ruble and Australian dollar were all up against the dollar, thanks to improving confidence in riskier assets.

"Looking three to six months out, we do think the recovery will maintain its momentum," Anna Han, at Wells Fargo Securities, told Bloomberg TV. "When you see that reflation trade coming back, it's telling you that investors are gaining confidence in growth prospects looking forward."


Pfizer signs MOU with Pakistani Lab to set up...

November 25, 2020 (MLN): A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Pfizer and Chughtai Labs to establish Vaccination Centers.

According to a note released on social media by the lab, these vaccination centers will improve access to vaccines across the country.  

Dr. Omar Chughtai tweeted “Several Covid vaccines are in various phases of development and approval.

Our mission is to be ready for the vaccine whenever one is approved and available.” Further adding “Timelines not definite yet. Inshallah in a few months. Our mission is to be ready for it.”


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Gold prices remain depressed owing to vaccine optimism

November 24, 2020 (MLN): The yellow metal prices plunged on Tuesday as the latest optimism about the possibly early rollout of the covid-19 vaccine knocked the safe-haven commodity.  In the international market, gold price was trading at $1,815 per ounce, down by $ 51 while silver was pegged at $23.22 an ounce.

On a similar note, gold prices dropped in the domestic bullion market as the price of 24 karat gold decreased by Rs 2,350 to Rs 110,500 from Rs 112,850 recorded on Monday.

According to the data released by the All Sindh Saraf Jewellers Association, the price of 10-gram gold also dropped by Rs 2,015 to Rs 94,736 against the price of Rs 96,751 reported in the previous session.

Likewise, the price of per tola silver and 10-gram silver also witnessed a fall of Rs 30 and Rs 25.73 to clock in at Rs 1,180 and Rs 1,011.65 respectively, the association reported.


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Closing Bell: Celebration Day

November 24, 2020 (MLN): Bulls staged a comeback to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Tuesday and pushed the benchmark KSE-100 Index up by 230.84 points as investors cherished the stance of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which kept the policy rate unchanged i.e. at 7 percent. Moreover, a consistent increase in international crude oil prices also drove investors’ sentiments.

According to the closing note by Next Capital, the market turned positive today after yesterday’s sell-off as global markets gained momentum on the back of Covid-19 vaccine progress and as Joe Biden was given the go-ahead and start the transition process.

The KSE-100 index concluded the session with 230.84 points or 0.58% gain and closed at  39,863.36 level.  

The Index traded in a range of 390.20 points or 0.98 percent of the previous close, showing an intraday high of 40,021.24 and a low of 39,631.04.

Of the 95 traded companies in the KSE100 Index, 57 closed up 33 closed down, while 5 remained unchanged. The total volume traded for the index was 105.95 million shares.

Sectors propping up the index were Oil & Gas Exploration Companies with 67 points, Commercial Banks with 41 points, Fertilizer with 26 points, Technology & Communication with 22 points and Oil & Gas Marketing Companies with 18 points.

The most points added to the index was by POL which contributed 23 points followed by DAWH with 18 points, MARI with 17 points, LUCK with 16 points and OGDC with 16 points.

Sector-wise, the index was let down by Insurance with 4 points, Chemical with 3 points, Engineering with 3 points, Food & Personal Care Products with 3 points and Power Generation & Distribution with 3 points.

The most points taken off the index was by COLG which stripped the index of 6 points followed by INDU with 6 points, DGKC with 5 points, ENGRO with 4 points and MLCF with 4 points.

All Share Volume decreased by 20.75 Million to 174.72 Million Shares. Market Cap increased by Rs.26.20 Billion.

Total companies traded were 377 compared to 382 from the previous session. Of the scrips traded 211 closed up, 137 closed down while 29 remained unchanged.

Total trades decreased by 10,177 to 80,392.

Value Traded decreased by 0.68 Billion to Rs.6.79 Billion


Top Ten by Volume

Unity Foods19,008,000
Maple Leaf Cement Factory14,519,122
TRG Pakistan12,665,500
Hum Network10,846,000
Pakistan Refinery7,977,500
Hascol Petroleum7,842,318
Aisha Steel Mills6,228,500
Pakistan International Bulk Terminal4,837,500
Power Cement4,340,500
Agha Steel Ind.Ltd3,571,500



Top Sector by Volume

Technology & Communication32,485,500
Vanaspati & Allied Industries19,011,800
Oil & Gas Marketing Companies11,734,467
Commercial Banks6,955,022
Power Generation & Distribution6,832,351



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USA remains Pakistan’s top export destination, shipments surge by...

November 24, 2020 (MLN): USA remained as the top export destination for Pakistan with $413.3 million worth of shipments in October 2020, against the exports of $375.9 million in the preceding month and $374.75 million in October’19, showing an increase of 10% both on MoM and YoY basis.

According to the Country-wise trade data released by SBP, UK appeared as the second major destination country during the month under review wherein Pakistan exported goods worth $174.8 million against the exports of $153.7 million in the previous month and $154.26 million reported in the same month last year, marking a growth of 14% MoM and 13% YoY.

This was followed by China, wherein the total exports to the country during the said month were recorded at $132.84 million against the exports of $128.96 million in Sep’20, showing a jump of 3% MoM. On a yearly basis, exports to China plunged by 10% as it stood at $147.4 million in October 2019.

Next in line is UAE and Germany, Pakistani exports to them pegged at $126.47 million and $126.2 million in Oct’20 respectively. Exports to UAE depicted a decline of 12% YoY and an increase of 14% MoM, whereas, exports to Germany during the month dropped by 10% MoM and grew by 3% YoY.

 Among other countries, Pakistani exports to Afghanistan stood at $86.59 million, down by 9% YoY while rose by 1% MoM, followed by the Afghanistan and Italy with $83.7 million and $62.3 million respectively, the data revealed.

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