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Stock markets drop as EU fails to strike coronavirus...


April 08, 2020: Stock markets mostly declined Wednesday as EU finance ministers failed to agree on a coronavirus bailout package for the hardest-hit countries such as Italy and Spain.

                  The euro dropped against the dollar and pound, while oil prices gained ahead of a crucial producers' meeting on possible output cuts.

                  Eurozone finance ministers Wednesday failed to agree on a rescue plan to help hard-hit member states face the coronavirus outbreak.

                  "European Union dysfunctionality is the talk of the town... with overnight squabbles seeing finance ministers ultimately fail in their bid to introduce an aid package worth half-a-trillion euros," said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG trading group.

                  The Bank of France, meanwhile, said the nation's economy contracted six percent in the first quarter, putting it in recession and marking the worst performance since 1945.

                  The German economy, Europe's biggest, is expected to shrink by nearly 10 percent in the second quarter as the coronavirus paralyzes the country, leading research institutes warned Wednesday.

                  "The corona pandemic will trigger a serious recession in Germany," the six think tanks including Ifo, DIW and RWI said in their annual spring report.

                  While the deadly disease continues to sweep across the planet, signs that the rate of infections is possibly leveling out and countries are preparing to ease some lockdown restrictions had instilled a semblance of optimism this week.

                  However, uncertainty about how long the crisis will last and the damage it will inflict on the global economy was keeping traders on edge and hobbling any sustained rally.

                  Wall Street, where all three main indices soared at least seven percent at the start of the week, struggled to extend its rally and fell back into negative territory Tuesday.

                  The losses spilled over into Asia, with Hong Kong losing more than one percent, Singapore two percent, and Sydney and Seoul each 0.9 percent.

                  Shanghai ended down 0.2 percent.

                  However, Tokyo jumped more than two percent, helped by a weaker yen and details of Japan's huge stimulus package worth $1 trillion amid a month-long state of emergency for Tokyo and six other regions in the country following a spike in coronavirus cases.                            

                  - Oil higher -                                

                  Oil prices climbed Wednesday, but the commodity continues to swing as traders keenly await Thursday's planned meeting of the world's top producers to discuss a possible output cut.

                  The commodity has been battered by the virus as lockdowns around the world bring the global economy to a standstill and drag on demand, while a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia has compounded the crisis.

                  With Riyadh and Moscow taking part, there are hopes they may draw a line under their dispute.

                  Howie Lee, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. said that while a cut of 10 million barrels "would lend some support to prices",  US participation was key, otherwise other producers would not be likely to take part.

                  Energy ministers from the Group of 20 will hold a meeting on the issue on Friday.


                  - Key figures around 1100 GMT -                    

                  London - FTSE 100: DOWN 1.2 percent at 5,634.71 points

                  Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 1.0 percent at 10,256.78

                  Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 1.6 percent at 4,369.30

                  Milan - FTSE MIB: DOWN 0.7 percent at 17,298.73

                  Madrid - IBEX 35: DOWN 1.3 percent at 6,908.60

                  EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.4 percent at 2,818.09

                  Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.1 percent at 19,353.24 (close)

                  Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 1.2 percent at 23,970.37 (close)

                  Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 2,815.37 (close)

                  New York - Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 22,653.86 (close)

                  Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.4 percent at $32.00 per barrel

                  West Texas Intermediate: UP 3.5 percent at $24.45 per barrel

                  Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0872 from $1.0890 at 2050 GMT

                  Dollar/yen: UP at 108.86 yen from 108.83 yen

                  Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2349 from $1.2334

                  Euro/pound: DOWN at 88.03 pence from 88.28


Govt releases Rs 7.109 bln for Finance Division projects

April 08, 2020: The Federal government has so far authorized to release Rs 7.109 billion for various ongoing and new projects of the Finance Division under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against its total allocation of Rs 11834.749 million.

Out of the total, Rs 800 has been authorized to be released for Construction of Sibbi Rakhni Road, out of its total allocations of Rs1000 earmarked for the current fiscal year.

Likewise, another Rs 800 million has been authorized for release to carry out work on Gwadar Development Authority for which Rs1000 were budgeted in the current fiscal year whereas an amount of Rs 800 has been authorized for release for necessary facilities of fresh water treatment, water supply, and distribution Gwadar, for which Rs1000 million were earmarked, according to the data released by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives.

The ministry also provided authorization for release of Rs 640 to complete the dualization of road from GT Road (Samma) to Gujrat, for which Rs 800 million were allocated in the current budget.

The ministry also had given the approval to release of Rs 408 million for Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Mother and Child Health Care Centre, Nawabshah City out of its total allocations of Rs 408.199.

Out of the total Rs 400 million earmarked for Sea Water Desalination Plant at Gwadar (CPEC), the ministry authorized to release Rs 320 million whereas it had given approval to the releases of Rs 320 for Construction/Upgradation of Dirgi Shabozai Road, Balochistan (Federal Share 60%) for which Rs 400 million have been set aside for the current year.

The minister also had given authorization for releases of Rs 240 million for Expo Center Peshawar, Rs 250 for Establishment of Combined Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) for Industrial Areas of Karachi including Laying of Interceptor Sewers (33% Federal Share), Rs 313 for Khyber Institute of Child Health & Children Hospital (District Peshawar), Rs 240 million for widening and carpeting of BooniBuzand Torkhow Road Chitral, Rs 240 for dualization of Road from Bahawalpur to Yazman to Chandni Chowk (Length 35.00km) and Rs 263 million for Chao Tangi Small Dam.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Federal government has so far authorized release of Rs 467.24 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against the total allocation of Rs 701 billion.

Under its development program, the government has released an amount of Rs 195.6 billion for federal ministries,

Rs 157.7 billion for corporations and Rs 34.2 billion for special areas, according to the latest data released by Ministry of Planning, Development, and Reform.


PMEX Commodity Index slips by another 133 points

April 08, 2020: On Tuesday at Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Limited, PMEX Commodity Index slipped by another 133 points to settle at 3,278 level. The traded value of Metals, Energy and COTS/FX was recorded at PKR 7.397 billion and the number of lots traded was 12,734.

The major business was contributed by Gold amounting to PKR 4.867 billion, followed by Crude Oil (PKR 644.489 million), NSDQ 100 (PKR 397.079 million), DJ (PKR 392.812 million), Currencies through COTS (PKR 364.931 million), Silver (PKR 276.796 million), SP500 (PKR 246.303 million), Natural Gas (PKR 72.784 million), Japan Equity (PKR 65.384 million), Platinum (PKR 60.353 million) and Copper (PKR 8.407 million).

In agriculture commodities, 19 lots of Cotton amounting to PKR 16.511 million and 2 lots of Wheat amounting to PKR 9.236 million were traded.

 Press Release

PKR appreciates by 14 paisa at interbank trade

April 08, 2020 (MLN): Pakistani rupee (PKR) appreciated by 14 paisa against US Dollar (USD) in today's interbank session as the currency closed the day's trade at PKR 167.76 per USD, against yesterday's closing of PKR 167.9 per USD.

The rupee traded within a very narrow range of 30 paisa per USD showing an intraday high bid of 167.90 and an intraday Low offer of 167.75.

Within the Open Market, PKR was traded at 167/168.50 per USD.

Meanwhile, the currency gained 63 paisa against the Pound Sterling as the day's closing quote stood at PKR 206.43 per GBP, while the previous session closed at PKR 207.06 per GBP.

Similarly, PKR's value strengthened by 31 paisa against EUR which closed at PKR 182.06 at the interbank today.

On another note, within the money market, the overnight repo rate towards close of the session was 11.00/11.25 percent, whereas the 1 week rate was 11.00/11.05 percent.

Copyright Mettis Link News

Buxly Paints to extend suspension of plant operations and...

April 08, 2020 (MLN): Buxly Paints has decided to extend its shutdown of the plant operations and offices till April 14, 2020, in compliance with directives of provincial governments to contain the spread of COVID-19 across provinces.

Copyright Mettis Link News

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