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European, US stock markets hit pause at start of...

December 10, 2019: European and US stock markets eased on Monday at the start of a key week for China-US trade hopes and ahead of Britain's general election.

The dollar wobbled against its main rivals ahead of the final monetary policy meeting of the year of the Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, sterling drifted higher awaiting Thursday's UK election that is expected to see Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives win a big enough majority to push through his Brexit deal.

"In a week to remember, it was a session to forget," said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex trading group, adding that investors were "not unjustified in their reticence to act." While observers widely expect Beijing and Washington to hammer out a partial tariffs agreement, trading floors remained nervous places with less than a week until the United States is due to impose fresh levies on Chinese goods.

"Though Wednesday has the final Fed statement of the year, it is going to be hard for American investors -- and investors in general -- to wrench their attentions away from the state of play between the US and China heading into Sunday's tariff deadline," said Campbell.

"So pressing is that matter that Thursday's UK general election is more of a local sideshow than the week's big macro event," he added.

On the corporate front Monday, shares in Tullow Oil, a London-listed independent oil producer in Africa, plummeted by 71 percent after the company cut its production forecast, froze dividend payments and its CEO resigned.

Shares in British supermarket giant Tesco topped the gainers board for London's blue chip FTSE 100 index, having shot up 4.5 percent after Britain's biggest retailer said it was looking at exiting its Thai and Malaysian businesses.

Sanofi stock shed two percent after the French pharmaceutical giant said it had agreed to buy US biotech firm Synthorx, boosting its immuno-oncology portfolio.

ArQule, which has been developing cancer medications, more than doubled after it agreed to be acquired by Merck for $2.7 billion. Merck dipped 0.2 percent.

In the commodities markets, oil prices retreated on profit-taking after Friday's healthy gains on the decision by OPEC and non-cartel producers led by Russia to cut output by a further 500,000 barrels a day.

Downbeat Chinese trade data over the weekend also gave reason to sell as it reminded traders that slowing growth is why oil producers are cutting output.

- Key figures around 2150 GMT - New York - Dow: DOWN 0.4 percent at 27,909.60 (close) New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,135.96 (close) New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.4 percent at 8,621.83 (close) London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,233.90 (close) Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.5 percent at 13,105.61 (close) Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.6 percent at 5,837.25 (close) EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.6 percent at 3,672.18 (close) Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 23,430.70 (close) Hong Kong - Hang Seng: FLAT at 26,494.73 (close) Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 2,914.48 (close) Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1065 from $1.1060 at 2200 GMT on Friday Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3148 from $1.3140 Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.16 pence from 84.17 pence Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.56 yen from 108.58 yen Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.2 percent at $64.25 per barrel West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.3 percent at $59.02 per barrel.


CDWP approves 8 projects worth Rs31.44 billion

December 10, 2019: Central Development Working Party has approved eight projects worth 31.44 billion rupees while referred three worth 40.22 billion rupees to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council for consideration.

Meeting of the committee was held in Islamabad on Monday with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan in the chair.

Senior officials from federal and provincial governments also attended the meeting. 

Radio Pakistan

Govt making all-out efforts to provide relief to masses:...

December 10, 2019: Prime Minister chaired a meeting of government's economic team in Islamabad says the government is trying its best to provide all-out relief to the public despite its limited resources in order to reduce the burden on people of poor and lower-income backgrounds. 

The Prime Minister said the multi-pronged program for social protection and poverty reduction dubbed 'Ehsaas' is a clear proof of the government's priorities.

He said the government is not only focused on overall economic development but also giving attention to administrative measures against hoarding and illegal profiteering to ensure the provision of essential items to people at reasonable rates.

Imran Khan said the aim of introducing technology in this regard is to promote transparency and eradication of corruption. 

Prime Minister regretted the baseless and misleading propaganda against important national issues like the national economy for personal interests. He said access to information by people should be ensured to counter such mafias.

The Prime Minister directed the government's economic team to apprise the people of every effort and progress for economic reform so that people reject the baseless propaganda themselves.

He also urged the team to resolve the issues on the economy on a priority basis so that the process of economic development continues without any hurdle.

Radio Pakistan

SBP receives USD 1.3 Billion from Asian Development Bank

December 10, 2019 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan confirmed late on Monday night that it has received USD 1.3 Billion for the Asian development bank.

The loan is for budgetary support and will help bolster the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

The amount is also to help reduce circular debt and improve the performance of the power sector.


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Weekly SPI Decreases by 0.83 Percent

Dec 09, 2019 (MLN): The Weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the Combined Group decreased by 0.83% during the week ended Dec 05, 2019 while the SPI increased by 18.57% compared to the corresponding period from last year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the Combined Index was at 130.77 compared to 131.87 on Nov 28, 2019 while the index was recorded at 110.29 a year ago, on Dec 06, 2018

Out of the 51 monitored items, the average price of 16 items increased, 10 items decreased whereas 25 items registered no change during the week.

The weekly SPI percentage change by income groups showed that SPI decreased across all quantiles ranging between 1.18% and 0.72%.

The Lowest Income Group witnessed a weekly decrease of 1.18% while the highest income group recorded a decrease of 0.72%.

On an yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 17.73% and 21.58%.

Yearly SPI for the Lowest Income Group increased by 18.99% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 17.73%.

The average price of Sona urea stood at Rs.2007 per 50 kg bag which is 0.65% higher than last week’s price and 13.39% higher when compared to last year.

Meanwhile, average Cement price was recorded at Rs.569 per 50 kg bag, which is 1.22% lower than the previous week and 5.95% lower than prices last year.


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