Pakistan & Gulf Economist

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World Stock Markets updates
Bulls maintain hold, lift KSE-100 by 329 points

Investors’ sentiment remained bullish at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Thursday as the benchmark KSE-100 index gained 329 points ahead of a long weekend. During the session, the country achieved the milestone of $200 million worth of inflows into Roshan Digital Accounts and the news mainly fueled the market’s uptrend. On the back of investor optimism, index-heavy automobile, cement and financial sectors closed with handsome gains. Foreign institutional investors, however, divested over Rs2 billion worth of shares, thus capping gains. Earlier, trading began with a jump and the KSE-100 index managed to climb over 500 points in initial hours. However, profit-taking by market participants erased some of the gains but encouraging progress on the Roshan Digital Account initiative helped the index end the day on a positive note. At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 329.07 points, or 0.76 percent, to settle at 43,416.77 points. On a weekly basis, the KSE-100 index gained 450 points after losing 1,200 points in first two sessions of the week. Overall, trading volumes soared to 570.6 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 378.9 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs25.5 billion. Shares of 402 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 232 stocks closed higher, 150 declined and 20 remained unchanged. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs2.1 billion worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Sensex ends 529 points higher

Domestic stock markets extended gains to a third straight day on Thursday, tracking strength across Asian equities amid optimism on more fiscal spending in major economies and expectations that COVID-19 vaccines will become more available next year. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 609.22 points, or 1.31 percent, to touch 47,053.40 at the strongest level of the day, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 13,771.75, up 170.65 points, or 1.25 percent, from its previous close. The Sensex ended 529.36 points, or 1.14 percent, higher at 46,973.54, and the Nifty settled at 13,749.25, up 148.15 points, or 1.09 percent, from its previous close. Both indices finished the holiday-truncated week on a flat note. Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Reliance Industries, Indian Oil and ONGC, ending between 2.37 percent and 3.90 percent higher, were the top percentage gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares. On the other hand, Infosys, Wipro, Nestle, HCL Tech and UPL, closing 0.59-1.25 percent each, were the worst hit among 18 laggards in the index. Reliance Industries, HDFC, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank were the biggest contributors to the gain in the 30-scrip benchmark.

FTSE 100 closes Christmas eve session in the green

The Footsie closed Christmas Eve session in the green as a Brexit deal is expected to be announced in a matter of hours. London’s main index ended the short Christmas Eve session 6 points higher at 6,502, while sterling trimmed some gains and rose only 0.66 percent to US$1.3587. British banks and housebuilders have been the biggest blue-chip risers on trade deal hopes, as Lloyds, Barclays and NatWest are more domestically focused than their peers. The fact that a no-deal scenario appears to have been dodged has boosted the sector because there were fears that their provisions for bad debts would surge in a no-deal environment. In addition to that, lending margins could improve in 2021 as the Bank of England might reign in its chatter about the possibility of introducing negative interest rates – which was weighing on net interest income. Meanwhile, Barratt Developments, Berkeley Group and Persimmon have shown gains as traders were worried that a no-deal outcome might clobber house prices. But the main winners today have been the pound and the FTSE 250. While the FTSE 100 treads water, moving around from small gains to small losses, the mid-cap index has raced ahead in today’s shortened session, as a whole host of UK-focused names stride higher.

Japan stocks lower at end of trade; Nikkei 225 unchanged

Japan stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as in the sectors led shares . At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 unchanged 0.00 percent. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., which rose 7.83 percent or 148.0 points to trade at 2039.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Nippon Yusen K.K added 6.50 percent or 146.0 points to end at 2392.0 and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. was up 6.35 percent or 188.0 points to 3150.0 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Hino Motors, Ltd. which fell 3.78 percent or 34.0 points to trade at 866.0 at the close. Softbank Group Corp. declined 3.15 percent or 250.0 points to end at 7692.0 and Olympus Corp. was down 2.14 percent or 48.0 points to 2194.5. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1948 to 1567 and 242 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was unchanged 0 percent to 20.87. Crude oil for February delivery was up 0.37 percent or 0.18 to $48.30 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 0.25 percent or 0.13 to hit $51.37 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract rose 0.26 percent or 4.80 to trade at $1882.90 a troy ounce. USD/JPY was down 0.12 percent to 103.51, while EUR/JPY fell 0.05 percent to 126.20. The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.10 percent at 90.250.

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