KSE-100 breaches 45,000-point mark
The stock market continued its recovery on Friday with the benchmark KSE-100 index recouping another 445 points on last trading day of the week as positive macros once again helped the index surpass the 45,000-point mark. A surge in foreign exchange reserves, which rose above $16 billion on Thursday with the receipt of $2.5 billion via Eurobond issue, played the role of a catalyst in the bullish close at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Last week, Pakistan entered the international capital market after a gap of over three years by successfully raising $2.5 billion through a multi-tranche transaction of 5-, 10- and 30-year Eurobonds. Moreover, optimism about financial results and easing political uncertainty further fuelled the uptrend. At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 445.12 points, or 0.99 percent, to settle at 45,186.48 points.
CAC 40 increases on improved risk sentiment
French stocks advanced on Thursday after the Federal Reserve reiterated commitment to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy until there was substantial progress in attaining its employment and inflation goals. Fed officials acknowledged the improvement in the medium-term outlook for real GDP growth and employment but expressed caution about ongoing risks of the pandemic to the economic outlook. Traders now await a speech from the Fed Chair Jerome Powell at a virtual IMF seminar, where he outlines his views on global recovery and the monetary policy outlook. The benchmark CAC 40 rose 27 points, or half a percent, to 6,158 after finishing marginally lower on Wednesday.
FTSE 100 ends higher
London’s FTSE 100 ended higher on Thursday as heavyweight mining stocks tracked rising metal prices, while the mid-cap index scaled record highs as investors bet on a faster economic recovery. The blue-chip index ended up 0.8 percent, with Anglo American one of the biggest boosts to the index, gaining 3.2 percent on plans to spin off its thermal coal assets in South Africa. The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index closed 0.4 percent higher, as faster vaccinations and lower coronavirus cases boosted confidence in a faster economic rebound. The swift rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in England resulted in a steep drop in infection rates in March, a closely watched survey showed. FTSE 100 is set to record its biggest weekly gain since early January and is up 7.5 percent so far this year on speedy vaccine rollouts, dovish central bank policies and economic optimism.
Dow jumps nearly 300 points to a record high
U.S. stocks climbed to record levels and closed out Friday at their session highs as Wall Street wrapped up the week with solid gains amid rising reopening optimism. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 297.03 points to 33,800.60, notching a record closing high. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to 4,128.80, hitting its third straight record close. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.5 percent to 13,900.19. Stocks linked to the recovering economy led the gains again amid the accelerating vaccine rollout. Carnival Corp rose 2.6 percent after getting two upgrades on Wall street amid pent-up demand and potential summer restart. General Electric climbed more than 1 percent. JPMorgan added 0.8 percent. The blue-chip Dow climbed 2 percent this week, while the S&P 500 gained about 2.7 percent, posting its best week since early February. The Nasdaq rallied 3.1 percent over the same period as major technology names outperformed. Apple jumped more than 8 percent this week, while Amazon and Alphabet both gained more than 6 percent. Market volatility has declined significantly as the S&P 500 kept grinding higher to refresh its record high. The Cboe Volatility Index, known as the VIX, has been trading under the 20 threshold for eight sessions straight. The index looks at prices of options on the S&P 500 to track the level of fear on Wall Street. The VIX fell under 17 Friday.
Nasdaq composite gains momentum in April: 5 top picks
The Nasdaq Composite has regained pace this month. The tech-heavy index which single-handedly drove Wall Street’s astonishing rally in an unprecedented pandemic-ridden 2020, lost some ground in first-quarter 2021. In the last quarter, the Dow and the S&P 500 rallied 7.8 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite gained just 2.8 percent. However, the tech-laden index has gathered pace in April. There were two reasons for the tepid growth of the Nasdaq Composite in first-quarter 2021. The index soared 43.6 percent in 2020. Notably, from its pandemic-led trough on Mar 23, 2020 to Dec 31, 2020, the index had skyrocketed more than 80 percent. This astonishing rally compelled several financial experts to say that technology stocks are overvalued.
Sensex dips 155 pts as record covid cases weigh on indices
Snapping their 3-day winning streak, domestic equity markets traded range-bound in the negative territory on Friday, with a few episodes of gains. Amid mixed global cues and record Covid-19 cases back home, coupled with reports of vaccine supply crunch, the benchmark indices dropped 0.3 percent today. Among headline indices, the S&P BSE Sensex ended the day at 49,591 level, down 155 points. 50 percent of the constituents ended the day in the red with Bajaj Finance (down 3 percent), Ultratech Cement, NTPC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, and Reliance Industries leading the list of losers. On the upside, Sun Pharma, HUL, Tech Mahindra, Titan Company, Dr Reddy’s Labs, and HCL Tech were the top gainers on the index, up in the range of 1 percent to 3.5 percent. On the NSE, the 50-share barometer settled at 14,835 levels, down 39 points dragged down by UPL, Tata Steel, Coal India, and Axis Bank.