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WORLD STOCK EXCHANGES.

Byline: S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI

SOUTHEAST ASIAN MARKETS: THAILAND, INDONESIA LEAD REGIONAL DECLINES

Southeast Asian stock markets declined back on Friday, with shares in Thailand and Indonesia sliding almost 2 percent, as financiers weighed in the likely impact of US rate hikes and ahead of market holidays in the region this week. The Thai SET index ended at a near 1-week low of 1,284.92, trimming its weekly gain to 0.3 percent.

AUSTRALIAN STOCKS CUT LOSSES; UP 1.5 PC FOR WEEK

Australian shares gave up early losses to close flat on Friday, led by late buying demand in financials stocks, counting Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The SandP/ASX 200 index increased 0.09 percent, to 5,106.70 at the end of trade. The benchmark jumped 1.5 percent on Thursday and recorded its best weekly performance since the week closing November 20.

NIGERIA SHARES DOWN TO 3-YEAR LOW

Nigerian stocks hit a 3-year low on Friday, tracking a decline in worldwide markets as financiers digested the impact of this week's US rate hike. The stock market, which has the 2nd-biggest weighting after Kuwait on the MSCI frontier market index, shed 1.54 percent at the end, dropping to levels last reached in December 2012. The index declined to 26,537 points.

CHINA SHARES STEADY

China stocks held nearly steady on Friday, capping a dramatic week that posted a strong relief rally in the last session following a predicted increase in US policy rates. Financiers are now refocusing on economic fundamentals, with a main central government economic meeting that starts on Friday probable to offer the market fresh cues for directions. The bluechip CSI300 index increased 0.3 percent, to 3,767.91, while the Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,578.96 points. For the week, CSI300 was up 4.4 percent, while the SSEC gained 4.2 percent, their best weekly performance in greater than a month.

TAIWAN SHARES DECLINE

Taiwan stocks declined on Friday after the central bank cut policy rate for the 2nd time this year to shore up development in the island's trade-reliant economy that has been hit by faltering worldwide demand. Financial shares led falls amid concern the cut would erode their earnings. CTBC Financial Holding Co Ltd declined 2.1 percent, while Mega Financial Holding Co Ltd dropped 1.6 percent. As of 1:03 GMT, the main TAIEX index was down 0.9 percent at 8,246.27, after ending 1.65 percent higher at 8,319.67 in the last session. The electronics subindex sank 0.9 percent, while the financials subindex declined 1.6 percent. The Taiwan dollar firmed by T$0.133 to trade at T$32.902 per US dollar.

HONG KONG STOCKS SLIP

Hong Kong stocks closed Friday slightly lower, as various sectors corrected after the last session's relief rally following the long-predicted US policy rate hike. The Hang Seng index declined 0.5 percent, to 21,755.56, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.3 percent, to 9,634.41 points. For the week, the Hang Seng was up 1.4 percent and the HSCE advanced 3.5 percent. On Friday, financiers took cues from sluggish US and regional markets.

EUROPEAN STOCKS DECLINE AS FED RALLY LOSES MOMENTUM

European shares declined in volatile trade on Friday as the Fed-inspired rally of the last session ran out of steam and financiers took profits ahead of the holiday season. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 1.2 percent by 1540 GMT, after gaining 1.3 percent on Thursday, while the euro zone's bluechip Euro STOXX 50 index weakened 1.7 percent.

INDIAN SHARES CLOSE LOWER

Indian stocks declined on Friday after the government cut its progress forecast, but indexes posted their biggest weekly gains in greater than 2-month after the US Federal Reserve increased policy rates without any disruptions to worldwide markets. The broader NSE index closed 1.05 percent lower after increasing for four consecutive sessions.

SRI LANKAN STOCKS GAIN

Sri Lankan shares closed firmer for a 4th straight session on Friday at a greater-than-2-week high led by bluechips, despite some selling by foreign financiers. The turnover was subdued as various financiers and stockbrokers were on holidays ahead of Christmas this week. The main stock index closed up 0.36 percent at 6,884.69, the highest end since December 1.

KSE; EQUITIES PLUMMET

At KSE, the local bourse closed the week in red with the benchmark KSE-100 index shedding 332 points to end at 32,777.04 points. The index showed volatility and moved both ways to hit the intraday high and low of 33,181.95 points and 32,744.45 points. Trading stayed lower at 114 million shares as against to the previous 142 million. The value of stock traded stood at Rs 9.19 billion compared to Rs 9.94 billion Thursday. Of the 325 scrips, which changed hands today, 100 appreciated, 195 depreciated while 30 remained equal. The market cap contracted to Rs 6.89 trillion from Rs 6.94 trillion of last session. Foreign financiers sold portfolios worth $6.1 million, on net basis. Habib Bank, which slid 4.2 percent to Rs 208.32 at close, led the day's volume with 7.76 million trading turnover.

WALL STREET DECLINES AS GROWTH FEARS RESURFACE

US stocks dropped Thursday on persistent concern over faltering worldwide economic development, led by falls in energy and materials shares, a day after shares had rallied on the Federal Reserve's decision to increase policy rates. Oil prices enlarged recent falls on persistent oversupply worries and as the dollar hit a 2-week high. Dow components Exxon and Chevron were down, by 1.5 and 3.1 percent, respectively.

NIKKEI DECLINES IN VOLATILE SESSION

Japanese stocks declined on Friday in a session that turned volatile after the Bank of Japan announced it would maintain its massive stimulus programme's base money target while enlarging the types of assets it purchases. In the minutes after the BoJ announcement, the Nikkei share average increased as much as 2.7 percent, then plunged back into the red once financiers realised it amounted to less of an expansion than initially thought.

FTSE RECORDS BIGGEST WEEKLY GAIN IN A MONTH

Britain's top equity index dipped on Friday, with financiers showing renewed caution in the wake of the euphoria that followed the US Fed's policy rate hike, but the index still set its biggest weekly gain in a month. Equity markets around the globe retreated after Thursday's gains, as financiers focused again on the underlying weaknesses in the worldwide economy.
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Publication:Pakistan & Gulf Economist
Date:Dec 27, 2015
Words:1100
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