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PKR depreciates in early trade

March 22, 2019 (MLN): Pakistani Rupee (PKR) depreciated by 90 paisa at the interbank market today, as the highest quote of the currency against US Dollar (USD) so far has been recorded at PKR 140.4, while yesterday’s closing value was PKR 139.5 per USD

The local currency is trading at PKR 140.22/27 against greenback as of now, marking a depreciation of 70 paisa or 0.5%.

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Pound stabilizes but struggles to rally after Brexit delay

March 22, 2019: The pound edged up Friday but was struggling to claw back its latest losses after the EU gave Britain a Brexit deadline extension, while equity markets mostly rose on a positive lead from Wall Street.

At a summit in Brussels Prime Minister Theresa May was given until April 12 to push her divorce agreement through a fractious parliament next week. If she manages to get it passed, the exit date will be pushed back until May 22.

However, a third defeat by MPs would mean Britain crashes out on April 12, unless London agrees to take part in European elections, a move the prime minister previously has ruled out.

The announcement puts pressure on May to get her deal through Westminster, with French President Emmanuel Macron warning: "In the case of a negative British vote then we'd be heading to a no deal."

Sterling has come under pressure owing to the uncertainty in the past few days, falling to as low as $1.3004 Thursday, though it has recovered slightly and is still maintaining its position.

However, OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley remained wary.

"The investor community continues to price the pound as if a no-deal Brexit is not possible, looking for excuses to buy rather than sell," he said in a note. "A close look at the text of the EU announcement suggests this is not a guaranteed outcome."

The Bank of England on Thursday expressed concern that further "uncertainties" over a "cliff-edge" no-deal Brexit "could have a significant effect on spending" by businesses.

Equity dealers were treading warily as they weighed an indication from the Federal Reserve that borrowing costs will not rise this year with concerns about the slowing economy and stuttering China-US trade talks.

Tokyo ended the morning 0.2 percent down and Shanghai slipped 0.6 percent while Seoul dropped 0.2 percent.

However, Hong Kong edged up 0.1 percent, Sydney added 0.6 percent and Singapore put on 0.1 percent, with Manila and Jakarta also higher.

The next possible market-moving catalyst could be next week as top US officials head to Beijing on March 28-29 for a new round of trade talks, followed by a trip to Washington by China's top negotiator in April.

While there is optimism a deal will eventually be struck Donald Trump caused ripples when he said Wednesday that US tariffs on Chinese imports could remain in place for a "substantial period", dampening hopes that an agreement would see them lifted soon.


SBP to Conduct 7 Day OMO

March 22, 2019 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan has announced that it will conduct a 7 day OMO (Reverse Repo) to inject funds into the market.

Quotes timing is up to 10:30 PST while result will be announced at 11:00 PST.

Settlement is same day - March 22, 2019

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Declining topline and margins to negatively impact Berger Paints’...

March 22, 2019 (MLN): Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has assigned initial entity ratings to Berger Paints Pakistan Limited, at ‘BBB+’ for long term and ‘A2’ for short term, while the outlook forecast on the rating action is ‘stable’.

According to PACRA’s press announcement on this occasion, the ratings reflect Berger’s established position and brand recognition in the premium domestic paint market of the country.

They further incorporate strong governance framework and experienced management team along with effective control framework.

“The ratings are dependent upon the management’s ability to improve margins and profitability, meanwhile prudent management of the working capital, maintaining good coverages and strong capital structure is also important,” says the agency.

Decline in topline and deterioration in margins leading to erosion of profitability will have negative impact on the ratings.

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Asian stocks open higher encouraged by US rallies

March 22, 2019: Hong Kong stocks rose soon after opening Friday morning, tracking a healthy lead from Wall Street, where investors cheered the Federal Reserve's dovish outlook for interest rates.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.35 percent, or 101.77 points, to 29,173.33.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was barely moved, inching down 0.73 points to 3,100.73, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, was also flat, edging 2.19 points higher to 9,871.99.

Meanwhile, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday as rallies on Wall Street helped improve investor sentiment, but with a higher yen against the dollar weighing on the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.16 percent or 33.81 points at 21,642.73 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.08 percent or 0.91 points at 1,615.30.


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