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NEPRA to hold public hearing against K-Electric over increased...

July 07, 2020: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has taken a serious notice of K-Electric’s excessive load shedding complaints.

In this regard, the Authority has decided to hold a public hearing on July 10, 2020 at 10:30 am via a video link due to prevailing COVID-19 situation.

All interested stakeholders and the general public are invited to participate in the hearing to express their views/comments/observations regarding this matter.

Apart from prolonged power outages, Karachiites also have to suffer low voltage and power-tripping since June. Giving justification for the same on its Twitter handle, K-Electric informed that with the rising Mercury level in Karachi, the company’s peak demand had crossed 3450 MW.

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Samer Edmond takes charge of Nestle Pakistan as the...

July 7, 2020 (MLN): Nestle Pakistan Limited has announced the appointment of Mr. Samer Edmond as the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director and Director of the Company with effect from August 1, 2020.

The aforesaid positions were previously held by Ms. Freda Duplan, who became the CEO of the company on August 1, 2018.

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Asian shares hit speed bump, China extends sharp rally

July 07, 2020: Asian shares paused for breath on Tuesday following a surge sparked by speculation Beijing is trying to orchestrate a major domestic bull run to support an economy hit by the coronavirus and a standoff with Washington.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last down 0.25%, a seemingly inevitable correction after sharp gains of 7% in just five days that took it to a 4-1/2-month high.

Japan's Nikkei gave up 0.7% while U.S. stock futures shed 0.3% in Asia after hefty gains on Monday in the wake of surging Chinese shares.

Analysts say jawboning by the Chinese government through a state-sponsored journal on the importance of "fostering a healthy bull market" is spurring the buying binge in mainland Chinese shares.

Bluechip CSI300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen shares , which had gained more than 13 in the past five sessions, gained another 1.7%, led by rises in tech sector.

"China is now trying to put all its resources on the semi-conductor and the IT sector so it can stand on its own feet in the area," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

"Given this whole project is likely spearheaded by (Chinese leader) Xi Jinping, the rally could have a long leg to go, even though it does feel a bit risky and could be prone to setbacks."

China's moves came as the Sino-U.S. disagreements have gone beyond trade and tariff to include a whole gamut of issues, such as the status of Hong Kong, signalling to some investors that Beijing may be aiming to reduce its dependence on the West.

The current China rally has echoes of the past, especially during 2007 and in the buying binge that followed the crash in 2015 that was largely driven by Chinese retail investors.

"Shades of John F. Kennedy's 'Ask not what your country can do for you' inauguration speech here and as close as you might get to a Chinese government 'put' as anything the Fed has done to date vis-à-vis the U.S. stock (and credit) markets," said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at NAB, in a research note.

A sharp rebound in U.S. services industry activity in June, almost returning to pre-pandemic levels, also helped to whet investors' risk appetite.

Still, new coronavirus cases surged in several states, forcing some restaurants and bars to close again in a setback to the budding recovery, keeping gains in risk assets in check.

In the currency market, the Chinese yuan made headway, hitting its highest levels in nearly four months. The renminbi rose 0.1% to 7.0115 per dollar.

"The yuan is supported by the risk-on mood in the Chinese share market despite lingering uncertainties over the U.S.-China relations and an anticipated slow pace of recovery," said Ei Kaku, senior strategist at Nomura Securities.

"Nor have we seen large capital flows that would boost the yuan," she said.

Other major currencies were little changed, with the yen flat at 107.37 to the dollar and the euro unchanged at $1.1312.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to hold its cash rate at 0.25% and make no changes to policy at Tuesday's board meeting, leaving markets to focus on the accompanying statement. There will be particular attention on whether the central bank notes the Australian dollar's rise.

The Aussie was steady at $0.6964.

Gold held steady near 8-year peak, changing hands at $1,783.3 per ounce.

Oil prices eased in tandem with the pullback in stocks.

Brent crude lost 0.66% to $42.83 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.64% to $40.37.


Pakistan, China sign agreement for construction of Azad Pattan...

July 07, 2020: Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for the construction of the Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project.

Prime Minister Imran Khan witnessed the signing of the agreement with China Gezhouba for the Azad Pattan Hydropower Project at a ceremony in Islamabad on Monday.

As part of CPEC, with an investment of 1.5 billion dollars and 700.7 megawatts of electricity, Azad Pattan will involve no fuel import, enabling the country to move towards cheaper and greener power while generating local job opportunities.

The project is located at River Jhelum and is expected to be completed in 2026.  

Addressing the signing ceremony of the agreement, the Prime Minister said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project will prove to be a milestone in the country's development and prosperity.

He said China is emerging as an economic power on the world's map and Pakistan can learn a lot from its development.

Imran Khan said China Pakistan Economic Corridor is the future of Pakistan.

Radio Pakistan

Stock markets rally on economy recovery hopes

July 07, 2020: Stock markets rallied again Monday, with fresh signs of economic recovery resonating with investors more than a surge in coronavirus infections worldwide.

The easing of lockdowns is providing hope the global economy will bounce back quickly from an expected recession this year, with England's pubs reopening at the weekend and tourist attractions around Europe now either open or planning to.

Last week, better-than-forecast data on US job creation and factory activity provided a boost to confidence, as did hopes for a vaccine, which observers say is key to kick starting any recovery.

Data Monday showing the massive US services sector grew in June after the coronavirus pandemic caused its steepest-ever contraction in the prior month, supported the post-holiday rally on Wall Street.

That data along with the belief that US cities and states will not reimpose strict lockdown measures despite surging virus cases fueled a healthy day for stocks, with the broad S&P 500 finishing up 1.6 percent.

"The market is showing more resilience than I expected. I didn't think we'd be immune from these bad virus numbers," Karl Haeling of LBBW said.

Tech stocks were among the big winners, with the Nasdaq hitting its third straight record close and Amazon shares finishing above $3,000 for the first time.

Investors on both sides of the Atlantic also took a cue from equities in China, "with the world's second largest economy seeing a huge uptick" with its main stocks index closing with a gain of nearly six percent, noted Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG trading group.

Traders have piled back into stocks in recent months -- with the help of vast government and central bank support -- and analysts have suggested the gains are also being helped by a fear of missing out on the rally.


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