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Global stocks mixed as Chinese virus spreads, oil prices...

Jan 25, 2020: European stocks rallied Friday while Wall Street equities tumbled along with oil prices as markets weighed the potential impact of a spreading viral illness in China.

Chinese authorities expanded a massive quarantine effort in response to coronavirus, while the United States confirmed its second case of the SARS-like ailment.

French officials said there had also been two cases found in France, the first in Europe, while Nepal reported South Asia's first case.

European bourses, which had dropped on Thursday, finished solidly higher Friday in the first session since the World Health Organization stopped short of declaring a public health emergency.

"There's a hope that the coronavirus is contained, particularly in China," Interactive Investor analyst Richard Hunter told AFP.

"And that's something of a relief rally -- (and) also with the earning season so far so good.

"So the last few days provided an opportunity to investors to buy on the cheaper side," Hunter added.

US stocks had also opened higher but fell steadily as the session progressed.

Adam Sarhan of 50 Park Investments said the virus still appeared to be contained but "if we start getting more cases showing up around the world, that would be a bad sign for global economic growth."

Sarhan said Friday's losses also reflected profit taking following a run of Wall Street records in recent weeks.

Tourism-oriented stocks were under pressure amid fears of the virus. United Airlines sank 3.5 percent, Marriott International lost 2.7 percent and Wynn Resorts fell 3.1 percent.

Oil prices also finished solidly lower as traders gird for a potential hit to petroleum demand from China and perhaps other markets. The outbreak has led to the cancelation of Lunar New Year festivities, along with temporary closures of Beijing's Forbidden City, Shanghai's Disneyland and a section of the Great Wall.

"With China implementing travel restrictions on more than 30 million residents at a time of peak holiday travel, demand for refined products from the transportation sector is likely to drop well below its usual holiday peaks," said Robbie Fraser, commodity analyst at Schneider Electric.

"China is the world's leading importer of crude, leaving room for significant near-term demand impact."

- Key figures around 2150 GMT -

  • New York - DOW: DOWN 0.6 percent at 28,989.73 (close)
  • New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.9 percent at 3,295.47 (close)
  • New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.9 percent at 9,314.91 (close)
  • London - FTSE 100: UP 1.1 percent at 7,585.98 (close)
  • Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.4 percent at 13,576.68 (close)
  • Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.9 percent at 6,024.26 (close)
  • EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.1 percent at 3,779.16 (close)
  • Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 23,827.18 (close)
  • Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 27,949.64 (close)
  • Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a public holiday
  • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1027 from $1.1055 at 2200 GMT
  • Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3077 from $1.3123
  • Euro/pound: UP at 84.32 pence from 84.24 pence
  • Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.23 yen from 109.49 yen
  • Brent Crude: DOWN 2.2 percent at $60.69 per barrel
  • West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.5 percent at $54.19 per barrel
  • AFP/APP

Europe equities rebound as fears ease over China virus

Jan 24, 2020: Europe's main stock markets ended the week in positive territory Friday after Asian indices halted their slide, with investor nervousness easing over the rapid spread of a viral illness in China.

"There's a hope that the coronavirus is contained, particularly in China," Interactive Investor analyst Richard Hunter told AFP.

"And that's something of a relief rally -- (and) also with the earning season so far so good.

"So the last few days provided an opportunity to investors to buy on the cheaper side," Hunter added.

OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya warned, however, that "concerns are growing that the travel bans in place (in China) will start to have a major impact on the economy" which could trim Chinese GDP by 1 percentage point or more.

"Oil's beating continues as the lockdown situation keeps getting worse in China," added Moya as the price of Brent cruise and WTI sagged by around 2.0 percent.

After adding 1.6 percent during the afternoon, London's benchmark FTSE 100 ended the session 1.0 percent ahead of Thursday's close while Frankfurt posted a gain of 1.4 percent and Paris rose by 0.9 percent.

Wall Street was more cautious, dipping some two hours into trading after edging 0.3 percent higher minutes after the opening bell.

Asian stock markets had earlier halted their slide with investor nerves eased after a week of volatility.

China's coronavirus infection has killed at least 26 people while the number of confirmed cases has leapt to 830, health officials said.

Authorities have shut down public transport in 13 cities -- together home to more than 40 million people -- around the epicentre of the outbreak in Wuhan.

"Markets are fearful the virus could spread, and even if it doesn't the impact on China could be large," added National Australia Bank analyst Tapas Strickland.

However, the World Health Organization has stopped short of declaring a global health emergency -- a rare instrument used only for the worst outbreaks.

For Capital Economics' Caroline Bain, "we suspect that any hit to global growth from the coronavirus will be temporary and probably smaller than during the SARS outbreak in 2003."

- Market penicillin -

"The WHO has provided a hefty dose of market prescribed penicillin that has lowered investors' fever for the time being," said AxiCorp chief market strategist Stephen Innes.

Hong Kong was down nearly four percent for the week but closed 0.2 percent higher after a half-day session ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.

Mainland bourses began their week-long break for the holiday, a day after the Shanghai exchange shed nearly three percent in its worst pre-Lunar New Year market fall on record.

Fears remain that the holiday -- when hundreds of millions of people travel across China -- could catalyse a further spread of the virus and knock-on market headwinds.

- Key figures around 1650 GMT -

  • London - FTSE 100: UP 1.1 percent at 7,585.98 points (close)
  • Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.4 percent at 13,576.68 (close)
  • Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.9 percent at 6,024.26 (close)
  • New York - DOW: DOWN 0.3 percent at 29,081.62
  • EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.1 percent at 3,779.16
  • Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 23,827.18 (close)
  • Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 27,949.64 (close)
  • Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a public holiday
  • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1022 from $1.1055 at 2200 GMT
  • Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3067 from $1.3123
  • Euro/pound: UP at 84.35 pence from 84.24 pence
  • Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.36 yen from 109.49 yen
  • Brent Crude: DOWN 2.7 percent at $60.38 per barrel
  • West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.0 percent at $54.59

AFP/APP

PM terms change in UK travel advice great news...

Jan 24, 2020: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday termed the change in travel advice by the United Kingdom a great news and said it would address two most important economic issues facing Pakistan today – employment and current account deficit.

“This is great news as it will address two most important economic issues facing Pakistan today: employment & our current account deficit, by bringing in tourism & investment which in turn will provide employment opportunities especially for our youth,” the prime minister said in his twitter message.

The United Kingdom on Friday changed its travel advice to reflect the improved security situation in Pakistan.

The announcement to this effect came from British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner in a video message posted on his Twitter handle in Urdu and English.

“Pakistan is very beautiful and I am very delighted that in my first video message I am giving you good news,” he said in the video message.

The British High Commissioner further said, “Thanks to the improving security situation that UK has changed its travel advice for Pakistan. Among other changes, the advice now allows by road travel to the north of country.”

“This builds on the successful visit of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the return of British Airways. It is great credit to the hard work of the Government of Pakistan to improve security,” he added.

“I myself am excited to visit more of Pakistan and delighted that the British nationals will be able to see more of what Pakistan has to offer,” Dr Christian Turner remarked.

Today’s announcement was the result of a comprehensive review of UK travel advice for Pakistan, based on a wide-ranging assessment of the country’s security situation. This was the first major update in the travel advice since 2015.

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has termed the change in travel advice by the United Kingdom encouraging and said the credit of this achievement went to the nation and armed forces of Pakistan.

In a statement, the foreign minister said he was glad to listen about it and added that he had also talked with the United Kingdom foreign minister in that regard. The foreign minister said Pakistan had also talked with the US President Donald Trump in that regard.

He said Pakistan was also talking with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Malaysia about tourism and hoped the three countries would help Pakistan in promotion of its tourism.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had also talked with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman about Saudi Arabia’s investment in tourism sector of Pakistan.

The foreign minister said if Pakistan’s case was taken on merit in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) upcoming meeting in Paris then it would be out of the grey list of the watch dog.

In a twitter message, the foreign minister said Pakistan was the land of peace and progress with incredible natural beauty, warmth and hospitality.

He said this change in travel advice was encouraging, the first major update to the UK’s travel advisory to Pakistan since 2015.

The foreign minister said this would further strengthen Pak-UK relations. “Welcome to Pakistan,” the foreign minister said.

APP

Pakistan International Airlines moved from Defaulters segment to Normal...

January 24, 2020 (MLN): Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (“PIAA”) has been moved from the defaulters segment to normal counter after it rectified the regulatory default of clauses of PSX Regulations.

According to notification issued by the Pakistan Stock Exchange the name of the company will be moved back to normal counter with effect from January 27, 2020.

The Stock Exchange had earlier placed PIAA in the defaulters segment from October 10, 2019 under clauses 5.11.1.(c) & (d) of PSX Regulations.

Furthermore, the company has been advised by the Exchange to abide with all the applicable Rules and Regulations and observe due in future with respect to compliance of Regulatory Requirements.

 

Copyright Mettis Link News

Weekly SPI Decreases by 0.40 Percent

Jan 24, 2020 (MLN): The Weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the Combined Group decreased by 0.4% during the week ended Jan 23, 2020 while the SPI increased by 19.69% compared to the corresponding period from last year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the Combined Index was at 131.55 compared to 132.08 on Jan 16, 2020 while the index was recorded at 109.91 a year ago, on Jan 24, 2019

Out of the 51 monitored items, the average price of 15 items increased, 9 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 0.55% and 0.34%.

The Lowest Income Group witnessed a weekly decrease of 0.55% while the highest income group recorded a decrease of 0.34%.

On an yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 18.1% and 22.05%.

Yearly SPI for the Lowest Income Group increased by 18.1% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 18.88%.

The average price of Sona urea stood at Rs.2012 per 50 kg bag which is 0.89% lower than last week’s price and 9.95% higher when compared to last year.

Meanwhile, average Cement price was recorded at Rs.549 per 50 kg bag, which is 0.9% lower than the previous week and 9.26% lower than prices last year.

 

Copyright Mettis Link News

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