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World Stock Markets

world stock markets in December 2022
European stock markets steady before US jobs data

Europe’s main stock markets steadied at the start of trading Friday, with all eyes on key US jobs data released ahead of the weekend. London’s FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1 percent to 7,683.77 points. In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 index opened flat at 8,017.19 points and Frankfurt’s DAX shed 0.1 percent to 17,824.00.

Both indices in the single currency bloc closed at record highs Thursday prior to more all-time peaks on Wall Street, as sentiment wins a lift from strong company earnings and cooler inflation.

London stocks tepid ahead of us jobs data

UK shares dipped on Friday ahead of key US jobs data that could help shape investor expectations on interest rate cuts globally, while British packaging firm DS Smith gained on a buyout offer from bigger rival Mondi.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent, as of 0917 GMT.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 lost 0.2 percent after rising to a three-month high in the previous session.

Markets now await the crucial US jobs report, due later in the day, after signals from major central bank officials this week underscored hopes of monetary policy easing this year.

KSE-100 hits 66,000

Stocks at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) gained on statements by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), driving the benchmark KSE-100 up over 400 points during the session on Friday.

At 2:40pm, the benchmark index was hovering at 66,003.20, an increase of 400.12points or 0.61 percent. The index hit an intra-day high of 66,067.52.

A positive trend was witnessed during trading, with index-heavy stocks including OGDC, PSO and SHEL trading in the green.

Experts attributed the bullish momentum to a reduction in political temperature as investors also rejoiced at developments on the formation of a new government.

Asia shares strike seven-month high

Asian stocks rose to a seven-month peak on Friday, tracking global peers as investors cheered the prospect of an imminent rate easing cycle led by major central banks, keeping the dollar and Treasury yields under pressure.

Japan remained an outlier as expectations mount that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) could finally exit negative interest rates this month.

That lit a fire under the yen and sent domestic bond yields rising.

Japan’s Nikkei rises

Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Friday, as technology stocks rallied tracking gains in Wall Street peers overnight and banks advanced on expectations that the country’s central bank could exit negative interest rates as soon as this month.

The Nikkei 0.9 percent to 39,935.24 by the midday break. Chip-making equipment giant Tokyo Electron was up 3 percent, adding roughly 114 points to the Nikkei’s 336.53-point gain.

Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest gained 3 percent, and artificial intelligence-focused startup investor SoftBank Group was up 2.5 percent.

Banks drive Australia shares higher

Australian shares rose on Friday to a record-high level, led by heavyweight financials, as investors increasingly bet on monetary policy easing after slower-than-expected domestic growth data.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7 percent to 7,820.8 points by 1221 GMT, set to log a third straight session of gains.

The benchmark touched a record high of 7,825.1 points earlier in the session.

The index is also headed for a second consecutive weekly gain, rising 1.2 percent so far.

Earlier this week, the country’s gross domestic product data restored hopes that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) can possibly start cutting interest rates later this year.

The RBA is set to meet on March 19 to declare the country’s cash rate, after shocking markets by hinting at a potential rate hike during its February meeting minutes.

Financials lead India’s Nifty

India’s blue-chips extended their rally to record highs for a second session in a row on Friday, led by financials, while US Federal Reserve Chair’s rate cut assurance supported sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex gained 0.69 percent and 0.51 percent this week, respectively, posting the fourth straight weekly gain, the best such streak in three months. The benchmarks gained about 3 percent each in four weeks.

“The momentum in domestic equities can persist till elections as history suggests,” analysts at Ambit Capital said.

Banking is the only sector with relatively attractive valuations compared with the Nifty 50, they said.

Financials-linked indexes such as financial services, banks, public-sector banks and private banks gained between 0.6 percent and 4 percent this week.

Tokyo stocks end lower

Tokyo shares trimmed early gains to end lower Thursday, as chip-linked shares lost momentum and investors were spooked by a stronger yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.23 percent, or 492.07 points, to 39,598.71, while the broader Topix index slid 0.44 percent, or 12.13 points, to 2,718.54.

The dollar fetched 148.60 yen, compared with 149.44 yen in New York.

The Tokyo market started trading higher following global rallies fuelled by hopes for long-awaited US Fed rate cuts.

Global shares staged a comeback as Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell said Wednesday that it would be “appropriate to begin dialling back policy restraint at some point this year”, barring any unexpected events.

Saudi says 8pc Aramco stake transferred to PIF wealth fund portfolio

Saudi Arabia on Thursday said it transferred an additional 8 percent stake from oil giant Aramco to firms owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, according to state media.

This brings the state’s ownership to 82.186 percent of Aramco shares, according to the official Saudi Press Agency, with a cumulative 16 percent transferred to the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and its subsidiaries.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, announced “the completion of the transfer of 8 percent of Saudi Aramco’s total issued shares from the State’s ownership to” companies fully owned by the PIF, SPA said.

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