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Mixed finish for US stocks following rate commentery
Aug 29,2016

US stocks ended a downbeat week on a flat note on Friday, 26 August 2016 as commentary from the Jackson Hole Symposium boosted U.S. rate hike expectations and weighed on the major averages. The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled behind the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite. Equity indices enjoyed a modest bid at the start of the session as investors pored over a less-hawkish-than-feared interpretation of Fed Chair Yellens seminal address. Chair Yellen indicated that the case for a rate hike had improved in recent months, but she also acknowledged that monetary policy is not on a preset course.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index finished lower after comments from Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer doubled down on a speech by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen that asserted the case for a rate increase is gathering steam.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.01 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 18,395.40, backing off an earlier 124-point gain, but paring a 113-point loss. The S&P 500 index fell 3.43 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,169.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.71 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 5,218.92, after being up about 41 points earlier and down as low as 20 points during the session.

Seven of the 10 index sectors finished in the red. All 10 had been positive earlier in the session. Telecom and utilities, often seen as bond proxies, led the charge lower, while health-care, tech, and financials finished slightly higher. Shares of Verizon Communications and McDonalds led blue-chip decliners.

The dollar saw volatile trading after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellens speech at the Kansas City Feds annual economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She said the case for an increase in the federal-funds rate had strengthened in recent months, but would remain dependent on what incoming data say about the U.S. economy. Chair Yellen indicated that the case for a rate hike had improved in recent months, but she also acknowledged that monetary policy is not on a preset course.

Janet Yellen sent a strong signal the U.S. central bank is preparing to increase rates as soon as next monthn++and Fischers comments furthered that assumption. An increase in U.S. interest rates tends to lift the dollar, which would make oil more expensive for traders who conduct business in other currencies.

But the dollar then turned decidedly higher after Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, said Yellens speech was n++consistentn++ with the possibility of two rate increases this year. Fischer, however, also said that the August jobs report will influence the central banks rate decision, echoing Yellens emphasis on the importance of incoming economic data.

Meanwhile, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester on Friday echoed the recent hawkish sentiments of other Fed members, saying n++it makes sensen++ to start moving interest rates higher.

Bullion prices settled modestly higher on Friday, 26 AUgust 2016 paring earlier gains, as traders eyed moves in the dollar following comments from two top Federal Reserve officials that hinted at a potential U.S. interest-rate hike as early as next month.

December gold tacked on $1.30, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,325.90 an ounce Friday. It had eased back from earlier highs above $1,344 that were hit as Yellen spoke and the U.S. ICE Dollar Index dropped. Gold futures were down about 1.5% for the week, the biggest weekly decline since the week ended July 15. December silver rose 13 cents, or 0.7%, to $18.745 an ounce, leaving the white metal with a 3.6% weekly drop.

Crude oil futures managed to hold on to a modest gain on Friday, 26 AUgust 2016 but finished well off the sessions highs as the U.S. dollar moved sharply higher. Comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, at a closely watched symposium on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo., pointed to the potential for an increase in interest rates as early as next month, but she also said action by the central bank will still depend on coming economic data.

October West Texas Intermediate crude rose 31 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $47.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was trading at $47.39 before Yellens speech and touched highs above $48 as she spoke. For the week, prices lost about 3% following gains over the last three weeks.

Ahead of the speech, a second estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product did little to boost stocks, underscoring that the U.S. economy is still muddling along, growing at a lackluster 1.1% pacen++slower than preliminary reading of 1.2% as corporate profits fell.

Among other economic reports, the trade gap narrowed to a seasonally adjusted $59.3 billion in July from $64.5 billion in June.

The University of Michigans final August reading of consumer sentiment slipped to 89.8 from 90.0 in July. The index is 2.3% lower than a year ago. Market had forecast a reading of 91.0.

Treasuries ended on a lower note as yields rose through the curve. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr note finished higher by four basis points (1.62%) while the yield on the 2-yr note finished at 0.84% (+5 bps).

Fridays participation was above the recent average as more than 797 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

Mondays economic data will include July Personal Income (consensus 0.4%), Personal Spending (consensus 0.3%), and Core PCE Prices (consensus 0.1%), which will each be released at 8:30 ET.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks weakens as traders eye Fed policy prospects
Aug 26,2016

Asia Pacific share market closed mostly down on Friday, 26 August 2016, as investors remained cautious ahead of important speech later this evening by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on the outlook for US interest rates.

The market remained on the shady side for the rest of the day, as selling to square positions grew ahead of Fed chief Janet Yellens speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later today. Global central banker will be gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Yellen will make a speech on Friday, which markets expect will provide fresh clues on the U.S. monetary policy outlook. Markets have been on edge in recent weeks as some Fed officials raised the prospects of a U.S. rate hike as early as September.

Odds that the Fed will boost rates in September have jumped to 32 per cent from 18 per cent at the end of July, while traders are betting theres a 57 per cent chance of tightening in December.

High US interest rates would pull money out of emerging markets and redirect it to the US. Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committees (FOMC) July meeting showed officials were split on whether an increase in interest rate was needed soon.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.2 per cent on Thursday after a report that Irans oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh will participate in an informal gathering of Opec members next month in Algiers. Saudi Arabias energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said an oil-output freeze would be positive, while ruling out a production cut.

Among Asian bourses

ASX200 drops 0.48%

Australian share market finished session down, as selloff pressure triggered on caution ahead of speech by US Fed chair Janet Yellen later in the global day. Most of ASX sectors declined, with shares of industrial, realty, energy, financial, and material blue-chip companies being major losers. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index declined 26.40 points, or 0.48%, to 5515.5. The broader All Ordinaries shed 24 points, or 0.43%, to 5607.40.

Today major banks and the big miners lost weight. The Commonwealth Bank dropped 1% to close at A$73.26, while BHP was down 0.7% to A$20.88 and Woodside Petroleum 0.6% to A$29.68. Woolworths lost 1% to close at A$24.90 after yesterdays A$1.5 billion full year loss.

Coca-Cola Amatil, the maker of Coke in Australia, today released its half year results showing a 7.8% increase in profit to A$198.2 million. Its shares lost 4.3% to close at A$9.17.

Mayne Pharma added 3.4% to close at A$1.98 after posting a 379% rise in profit to A$37.4 million.

Cabcharge posted 45% fall in full year profit to A$25.61 million as it writes down the value of its taxi licence portfolio and gets hit by new regulations for lower service fees. Its shares dropped 10% to close at A$3.27.

Nikkei turns lower ahead of Yellen speech

The Japan share market stumbled on following weak lead from Wall Street overnight and on position-adjustment selling ahead of guidance from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. The Nikkei average lost 41.35 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 16,555.95. The Topic index fell 2.44 points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 1,304.27.

Exporters such as auto makers tend to suffer from U.S. dollar weakness against the Japanese yen. Yield-curve declines make investments difficult for insurers and hit their margins. Toyota Motor fell 3.4% to 5,911 yen. Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries dropped 1.6% to Y3,756. MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings lost 3.3% to Y2,789. Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings fell 2.8% to Y3,147.

FamilyMart fell 1.4% to Y7,800 after the Japan Fair Trade Commission told the convenience-store operator to pay its contractors a total of Y650 million ($6.5 million) because FamilyMart had violated the law by either collecting money via inappropriate means or failing to make payment in full. FamilyMart said it has accepted the advisory and arranged the payments.

China Market ends marginally up

Mainland China stock market closed marginally above the neutral line, as investors chased for bargain buying after regulators denial that insurance money is getting pulled out of the market. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) late on Thursday denied a market rumour in a local media that 600 billion yuan ($90.17 billion) worth of insurance money would gradually exit the market due to tougher rules. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.06% to 3307.09 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.06% at 3070.31 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed up 0.2% at 2023.09 points. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.2 percent for the week.

Banking shares were firm as investors took relief that newly-released earnings by some of countrys biggest lenders didnt show a sharp deterioration in asset quality as many had feared. Bank of Communications (BoCom), which reported near flat first-half profit, saw its bad loan ratio also stay stable from the previous quarter. Disclosure that government-backed funds increased holdings in BoCom by 570 million A shares also helped sentiment.

Hong Kong Market slightly rebound in quiet trade

The Hong Kong stock market fluctuated throughout the day before closing slightly higher, despite the weaker close of the US equity markets overnight, as investors remained cautious ahead of a speech later this evening by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on the outlook for US interest rates. Most sectors in Hong Kong rose, led by energy and tech stocks. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 94.59 points, or 0.41%, to 22909.54 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, rose 45.26 points, or 0.48%, to 9550.04. Turnover decreased to HK$54.8 billion from HK$68 billion on Thursday.

Banking and insurance sectors were also among the gainers, with China Life Insurance jumping 3.4 per cent to close at HK$19.08 after Deutsche Bank upgraded its target price to HK$31.4.That came after the nations largest insurer said on Thursday night that its first-half net profit fell 67 per cent to Rmb10.4 billion, due to investment losses. But its new business value reached Rmb28,021 million, an increase of 50% from a year earlier. Ping An (02318) edged up 0.3% to HK$40.1. PICC P&C (02328) added 1.3% to HK$12.78. Bank of Communications rose 0.52 per cent to close at HK$5.76 after it reported a 0.9 per cent gain in net profit, which amounted to 37.66 billion yuan late on Thursday. China Construction Bank, however, dropped 0.86 per cent to close at HK$5.77 after it reported a 1.15 per cent profit growth of 133.41 billion yuan.

Mengniu Dairy (02319) surged 5.6% to HK$15.42 on top of yesterdays 12% rally post 1H results. Both JP Morgan and Credit Suisse have upgraded their ratings and target prices for the stock.

The Apple supply chain OEMs became targets of buying. AAC Tech (02018), which is to be included into the HSI, added 1.7% to HK$82 on a 9% interim earnings growth.

ZTE Corp (00763) dived 8.5% to HK$10.58 as Credit Suisse sees bigger-than-expected impact on the overseas business from the US investigation, leading to huge pressure on operating pressure.

Nifty hits lowest closing level in more than 3 weeks

Indian benchmark indices registered small losses after witnessing volatility towards late trade. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, lost 53.66 points or 0.19% to settle at 27,782.25. The Nifty 50 index lost 19.65 points or 0.23% to settle at 8,572.55.

Stocks of public sector banks edged lower. Stocks of private sector banks were mixed. Capital goods stocks edged lower. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries nudged higher. Tata Motors shrugged off weak Q1 results. Biocon gained after European Medicines Agency accepted for review Biocons partner Mylans marketing authorization application for a proposed biosimilar Trastuzumab.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a draft paper on banks large exposure (LE) limit that large exposure limit in respect of each counterparty and group of connected counterparties will be capped at 20% and 25% respectively of the banks eligible capital base under normal circumstances. The eligible capital base will be defined as the Tier 1 capital of the bank as against capital funds at present. A group of connected counterparties will be identified on the basis of control as well as economic dependence criteria. The RBI has sought public comments on the draft LE framework by 15 September 2016.

Separately, RBI has allowed banks to issue rupee bonds overseas (Masala Bonds) for their capital requirements and for financing infrastructure and affordable housing. This was a part of the measures announced by RBI for the development of fixed income and currency markets.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 fell 0.5% to 7391.30. South Koreas KOSPI index declined 0.3% to 2037.50 Taiwans Taiex index rose 0.2% to 9131.72 . Malaysias KLCI was up 0.2% to 1683.09. Singapores Straits Times index dropped 0.7% to 2857.65. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index dropped 0.3% to 5438.83.

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ASX200 drops 0.48%
Aug 26,2016

Australian share market finished session down on Friday 26 August 2016, as selloff pressure triggered on caution ahead of speech by US Fed chair Janet Yellen later in the global day. Most of ASX sectors declined, with shares of industrial, realty, energy, financial, and material blue-chip companies being major losers. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index declined 26.40 points, or 0.48%, to 5515.5. The broader All Ordinaries shed 24 points, or 0.43%, to 5607.40.

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Nikkei turns lower ahead of Yellen speech
Aug 26,2016

The Japan share market stumbled on Friday, 26 August 2016, on following weak lead from Wall Street overnight and on position-adjustment selling ahead of guidance from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. The Nikkei average lost 41.35 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 16,555.95. The Topic index fell 2.44 points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 1,304.27.

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China Market ends marginally up
Aug 26,2016

Mainland China stock market closed marginally above the neutral line on Friday, 26 August 2016, as investors chased for bargain buying after regulators denial that insurance money is getting pulled out of the market. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) late on Thursday denied a market rumour in a local media that 600 billion yuan ($90.17 billion) worth of insurance money would gradually exit the market due to tougher rules. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.06% to 3307.09 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.06% at 3070.31 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed up 0.2% at 2023.09 points. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.2% for the week.

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Hong Kong Market slightly rebound in quiet trade
Aug 26,2016

The Hong Kong stock market fluctuated throughout the day before closing slightly higher on Friday, 26 August 2016, despite the weaker close of the US equity markets overnight, as investors remained cautious ahead of a speech later this evening by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on the outlook for US interest rates. Most sectors in Hong Kong rose, led by energy and tech stocks. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 94.59 points, or 0.41%, to 22909.54 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, rose 45.26 points, or 0.48%, to 9550.04. Turnover decreased to HK$54.8 billion from HK$68 billion on Thursday.

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US stocks end in the red
Aug 25,2016

US stocks ended Wednesday, 24 August 2016 on a lower note as a weaker-than-expected reading of existing home sales for July and a downturn in crude oil pressured the broader market. Other focal points impacting todays trade included a rebound in the dollar, caution ahead of Fridays speech from Fed Chair Yellen, and relative weakness from the heavily-weighted technology and health care sectors. The S&P 500 and Dow industrials on Wednesday finished at their lowest levels since early August.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 65.82 points, or 0.4%, at 18,481.48. The S&P 500 index lost 11.46 points, or 0.5%, to end at 2,175.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index suffered the brunt of the markets retreat, trading down 42.38 points, or about 0.8%, to close at 5,217.69.

Following Mylans lead, the health-care sector was off 1.6%, representing the sharpest loss among the indexs 10 sectors. Mylan has been in focus for the past several sessions as lawmakers have criticized the drugmakers decision to raise the price of its EpiPens, widely used to treat anaphylactic shock. Shares sank 5.4%, and are off more than 11% this week. Shares of UnitedHealth Group and Merck & Co. were each off more than 1%, dragging the blue-chip benchmark into the red.

The major averages slipped at the beginning of the session as investors responded to a downturn in crude oil and a weaker-than-expected Existing Home Sales Report for July.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that July sales of previously owned homes fell 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million. That was lower than the 5.48 million pace that market had forecast and 1.6% lower than a year ago.

Investors have mostly held off on big bets on Wall Street ahead of comments from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen at the central banks retreat at Jackson Hole. Yellens speech there will be closely watched for hints about U.S. monetary policy and the path of interest rates.

Bullion prices fell on Wednesday, 24 AUgust 2016 at Comex. Gold futures fell Wednesday to log their lowest finish in about a month, as investors hope for clarity this week on the near-term path for interest rates.

December gold dropped $16.40, or 1.2%, to settle at $1,329.70 an ounce. December silver shed 37.7 cents, or 2%, to $18.688 an ounce.

Crude oil futures sank on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 to settle at a one-week low as U.S. government data confirmed a larger-than-expected weekly rise in crude inventories, wiping out earlier support from optimism that Iran could agree to a production freeze accord.

October West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.33, or 2.8%, to settle at $46.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since mid AUgust. Prices traded around $47.50 before supply data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration early Wednesday reported that domestic crude supplies rose by 2.5 million barrels in the week ended 19 August 2016. That was significantly above the 200,000-barrel climb expected by market. Total U.S. crude output, meanwhile, fell by 49,000 barrels a day to 8.548 million barrels a day for the latest week.

Treasuries ended on a mixed note as the long end of the curve displayed relative weakness. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr note finished higher by one basis point at 1.56%.

Todays participation was below the recent average as fewer than 737 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include weekly initial claims (consensus 265k) and Durable Goods Orders for July (consensus 3.5%), which will each cross the wires at 8:30 ET.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mixed ahead of Fed remarks
Aug 24,2016

Asia Pacific share market were narrowly mixed on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, with Tokyo gaining slightly on a weaker yen and Shanghai taking a breather with investors looking ahead to remarks at the end of the week from the U.S. Fed chief.

Attention turns to an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later this week with investors focused on a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday that may confirm and elaborate on recent hawkish statements on the need for a interest rate hike before the end of the year from fellow policymakers.

Among Asian bourses

Nikkei ups 0.6% as yen pause

The Japan share market recouped just enough to yesterday losses, thanks to buybacks of large-cap mainstay issues that reflected a pause in the yens advance against the dollar. The 225-issue Nikkei stock average advanced 99.94 points, or 0.61%, to end at 16597.30 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Topix index of all first-section issues grew 9.15 points, or 0.71%, to close at 1306.71. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1287 to 617 and 153 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 1.16% to 22.59.

Softbank Group surged 2.46%, after JP Morgan Securities raised its investment rating and stock price target for the mobile phone carrier. Peers KDDI and NTT Docomo were downbeat. The weaker yen gave a lift to automakers Toyota and Nissan, and electronics makers Sony and Canon.

Screen Holdings Co. was the biggest gainer on the Nikkei 225, advancing 7.8%, after Mizuho Financial Group Inc. raised its target price on the stock by 14%, citing improving margins.

Honda Motor Co. added 0.8% following a Nikkei newspaper report that it will raise output capacity for hybrid motors in October.

Furniture shop operator Nitori Holdings Co. lost 5.6% after reporting a slowdown in monthly sales growth. Clothing chain operator Shimamura Co. dropped 8.1% after same-store sales in August slumped 5.5% on the year.

ASX200 clings to gain

Australian share market finished session tad higher, as gain in materials, property trusts, and financials stocks were just enough to offset losses in a number of index heavyweights including Wesfarmers and Telstra. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 7.90 points, or 0.14%, to 5561.70. The broader All Ordinaries added 6.50 points, or 0.12%, to 5653.60.

Ardent Leisure was the biggest winner on the ASX 200, surging 14% after unveiling a 32% rise in annual profit, thanks to rising numbers of Chinese visitors to its theme parks. Sirtex Medical and Spotless Group also posted healthy gains after reporting results.

Qantas, Australias biggest airline, pleased investors by declaring its first dividend in seven years and posting a record profit. Even though the result fell slightly short of expectations and challenges remain, especially in the domestic market, the stock added 1.5%, as the airline flagged further share buybacks.

Telstra was the biggest drag on the benchmark index, losing 3.5% as the telecom traded ex-dividend. Retail and resources conglomerate Wesfarmers was another bluechip weighing heavily on the market, losing 2.2% after recording its worst net profit in 15 years. Other stocks that sold off following earnings reports included A2 Milk, Boral, McMillan Shakespeare and Blackmores.

Aconex lost 6.3%, as the construction software maker on Tuesday reported a 50% rise in revenue and an operating profit of A$13.6 million, which came in slightly below the lofty expectations of the analyst crowd. Both Credit Suisse and Deutsche cut their recommendations by one notch and are now neutral on the stock, mainly due to its high valuation after soaring more than 40% this year.

China Market falls as hopes for policy easing fade

Mainland China stock market closed lower, dragged down by financial and property shares amid receding expectations of aggressive monetary easing. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.36% to 3329.86 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.12% at 3085.88 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed up 0.31% at 2030.28 points.

Chinas central bank on Wednesday injected cash into money markets through 14-day reverse repurchase agreements for the first time since February, trimming the prospect of more liquidity injections expectations of further aggressive monetary easing.

The property shares finished lower with subindex losing 1.55%. China Vanke Co was among the top losers, which dropped 2.87%. The financial subindex was down 0.73%.

Hong Kong Market drops 0.77%

The Hong Kong stock declined, as profit booking triggered on fear recent gains were excessive relative to earnings prospects, with Chinese banks leading declines. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 178.15 points, or 0.77%, to 22820.78 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, declined 79.90 points, or 0.83%, to 9507.09. Turnover increased to HK$62 billion from HK$60.8 billion on Tuesday.

Galaxy Entertainment (00027) slid 3%, becoming worst blue-chip lower ahead of its earnings report tomorrow. Want Want (00151) jumped 3% to HK$5.06, becoming the top blue-chip gainer today, as Macquarie Research said the worst for the company is over, and maintained its outperform rating, with a higher target price of HK$6.7.

ICBC, Chinas largest lender, slid 2% after a momentum indicator rose to levels only seen during one period in the past five years, while China Construction Bank Corp. lost 0.9%. Both have erased their 2016 losses as they jumped at least 10% this month.

China Overseas Land & Investment fell 1.1% after China Merchants Securities analyst John So downgraded his recommendation on the stock. China Vanke Co. lost 0.5% after S&P Global Ratings lowered the outlook on the developers corporate ratings to negative from stable.

Henderson Land (00012) fell 1% after it reported interim earnings of HK$8.6 billion, representing a 13% decline. JP Morgan recommended an underweight while Deutsche Bank rated it a buy. New World (00017) and CK Property (01113) fell 1.5% and 2% to HK$9.75 and HK$54.7.

Sensex settles above 28,000 mark

Indian benchmark indices registered small gains in a lacklustre trading session. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 69.73 points or 0.25% to settle at 28,059.94. The Nifty 50 index rose 17.70 points or 0.21% to settle at 8,650.30.

Maruti Suzuki India edged higher on reports that a foreign brokerage has upgraded its rating on the stock to buy from outperform with target price of Rs 5,850 per share. Aurobindo Pharma surged after the company announced strong Q1 results. Indian Oil Corporation moved higher after the company said that its board of directors will consider issue of bonus shares along with Q1 June 2016 results on 29 August 2016.

Index heavyweight and software major Infosys nudged higher on reports that the company may get about $60 million (Rs 400 crore) in incremental revenue over the third and fourth quarters of the current financial year (FY 2017) as part of the Rs 1380 crore Goods Services and Tax Network (GSTN) project. Idea Cellular edged lower after the company denied reports that it was in merger talks with Vodafone India.

Welspun India tumbled on reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reviewing Welspuns cotton certification records following Target Corp.s decision to snap ties with the Indian textile maker over a cotton supply dispute.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 rose 0.1% to 7416.09. South Koreas KOSPI index declined 0.3% to 2043.76. Taiwans Taiex index fell 0.2% to 9017.38. Malaysias KLCI was down 0.1% to 1682.06. Singapores Straits Times index rose 0.7% to 2869.57. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index dropped 0.24% to 5403.99.

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Hong Kong Market drops 0.77%
Aug 24,2016

The Hong Kong stock declined on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, as profit booking triggered on fear recent gains were excessive relative to earnings prospects, with Chinese banks leading declines. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 178.15 points, or 0.77%, to 22820.78 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, declined 79.90 points, or 0.83%, to 9507.09. Turnover increased to HK$62 billion from HK$60.8 billion on Tuesday.

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China Market falls as hopes for policy easing fade
Aug 24,2016

Mainland China stock market closed lower on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, dragged down by financial and property shares amid receding expectations of aggressive monetary easing. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.36% to 3329.86 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.12% at 3085.88 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed up 0.31% at 2030.28 points.

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Nikkei ups 0.6% as yen pause
Aug 24,2016

The Japan share market finished higher on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, recouping just enough to yesterday losses, thanks to buybacks of large-cap mainstay issues that reflected a pause in the yens advance against the dollar. The 225-issue Nikkei stock average advanced 99.94 points, or 0.61 percent, to end at 16597.30 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Topix index of all first-section issues grew 9.15 points, or 0.71 percent, to close at 1306.71. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1287 to 617 and 153 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 1.16% to 22.59.

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ASX200 clings to gain
Aug 24,2016

Australian share market finished session tad higher on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, as gain in materials, property trusts, and financials stocks were just enough to offset losses in a number of index heavyweights including Wesfarmers and Telstra. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 7.90 points, or 0.14%, to 5561.70. The broader All Ordinaries added 6.50 points, or 0.12%, to 5653.60.

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Small gains for US stocks
Aug 24,2016

U.S. stocks closed in positive territory on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 but off the best levels of the session, after upbeat data on U.S. new-home sales and a stronger-than-expected gauge of European private-sector activity. The Nasdaq Composite briefly hit an all-time intraday high, while the S&P 500 flirted with its own intraday record.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day with a gain of 17.88 points, or 0.1%, at 18,547.30. The S&P 500 index finished up 4.26 points, or 0.2%, at 2,186.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 15.47 points, or 0.3%, at 5,260.08.

Eight out of 10 S&P 500 sectors posted gains, led by a climb in materials shares

The stock market ended a relatively quiet session on a slightly higher note as an above-consensus reading of the New Home Sales Report for July and better-than-expected earnings results from the retail sub-group bolstered the broader market. Equity indices jumped at the start of the session as a strong performance from European bourses and a better-than-expected quarterly report from Best Buy bolstered the broader market.

Todays economic data was limited to the New Home Sales Report for July. New home sales increased 12.4% month-over-month in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000, which was well above the consensus estimate of 580,000 and up 31.3% from the same period a year ago. July 2016 marked the strongest pace of new home sales since October 2007.

In other economic data, a reading of manufacturing sentiment was softer in August after hitting its highest level in nine months in July. The flash manufacturing purchasing managers index from Markit fell to a reading of 52.1 this month from 52.9 in July.

Crude-oil futures reversed course to turn sharply higher after a report suggested that Iran might be willing to work with other major crude producers to cap output. West Texas Intermediate settled up 1.5% at $48.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after tapping lows under $47.

Treasuries ended on a flat note with yields relatively unchanged throughout the complex. The yield on the 10-yr note finished flat at 1.54%.

Todays participation was below the recent average as fewer than 716 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include the weekly MBA Mortgage Index and the FHFA Housing Price Index for June, which will be released at 7:00 ET and 9:00 ET, respectively. The days data will be capped off with the Existing Home Sales Report for July (consensus 5.54 million), crossing the wires at 10:00 ET.

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ASX200 closes 0.7% up
Aug 23,2016

Australian share market finished session in green terrain on Tuesday, 23 August 2016, thanks to bargain buying in top lenders and better than expected quarterly earnings from Healthscope. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 38.70 points, or 0.7%, to 5553.80. The broader All Ordinaries added 34.80 points, or 0.62%, to 5647.10.

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Mixed finish for US stocks
Aug 23,2016

U.S. stocks closed mostly lower on Monday, 22 AUgust 2016, with the Dow industrials and S&P 500 logging modest losses, as the mood turned cautious ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen at the end of the week. A retreat in crude-oil prices also weighed on the broader market, dragging shares of oil and gas companies into the red.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 23.15 points, or 0.1%, to end at 18,529.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index bucked the losing trend for the benchmarks to edge up 6.22 points, or 0.1%, to close at 5,244.60. The S&P 500 shed 1.23 points, or less than 0.1%, to finish at 2,182.64.

The energy sector sank 0.9%, marking the worst decline among the large-cap benchmarks 10 sectors. The Dow was pressured by declines in Apple and Johnson & Johnson. Visa shares were the best performer among blue chips.

Meanwhile, stocks mostly traded in a narrow range during the session. Investors are awaiting clues about U.S. monetary policy from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen at a retreat of economists and Fed members in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. In her planned speech in Jackson Hole, Yellen could signal that the Fed is ready to raise interest rates as soon as next month. Such a statement may weigh on equity investors, who have enjoyed central-bank policies, that have been supportive of the multiyear run-up in stocks.

Weakness in oil futures appeared to set the tone for equities in early action. September West Texas Intermediate crude CLU6, -3.52% slumped more than 3%, with some analysts blaming a rise in the U.S. oil-rig count last week. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley analysts poured cold water on hopes that major oil producers will freeze production.

In deal news, drug giant Pfizer confirmed it plans to buy biotech Medivation in a move aimed at adding a leading prostate-cancer drug to Pfizers portfolio. Pfizers stock slid 0.4%, while Medivation jumped 20%. In other deal news, ChemChina said Monday that a U.S. national-security regulator had cleared its planned $43 billion acquisition of Swiss seed company Syngenta. Chip maker Intersil Corp. soared 20% after Japans Renesas Electronics Corp. said it is in talks to buy the U.S. company.

Bullion prices finished lower on Monday, 22 August 2016 for a second session, pressured by expectations that a speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen later this week will support an interest-rate hike as soon as September, fueling a rise in the dollar.

On Monday, December gold fell $2.80, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,343.40 an ounce after a 0.8% loss on Friday. Gold managed a gain of roughly 0.2% last week. September silver settled at $18.859 an ounce, down 45.8 cents, or 2.4%. The white metal ended Friday with a roughly 2% weekly decline.

The ICE U.S. dollar index was up 0.1% on Monday as gold futures settled. The greenback had tapped a seven-week low last week but regained a portion of the slide, sending gold still lower in the wake of hawkish rate talk from Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer over the weekend. A firmer dollar makes dollar-priced gold less attractive to overseas buyers. Additionally, higher interest rates can dull the appeal of gold, which doesnt bear interest, in favor of investment alternatives that offer better yields.

Crude oil futures settled with a drop of 3% on Monday, 22 August 2016 as investors cashed in on a seven-session streak of gains, pressured by expectations of higher global crude production. Bets that major oil producers will agree to stabilize oil output at a meeting late next month fed a rally last week, but expectations for an agreement have faded and the market is eyeing the potential for higher production from Iraq and Nigeria.

September West Texas Intermediate crude slid $1.47, or 3%, to settle at $47.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the largest one-day dollar and percentage decline since 1 Aug 2016. The contract expired at Mondays settlement, with October which ended at $47.41 a barrel, down $1.70, or 3.5%, now the front-month contract.

Relative strength among long-dated Treasuries led to some flattening in the yield curve. The yield on the 30-yr bond slipped five basis points (2.24%) while the yield on the benchmark 10-yr note fell four basis points (1.54%).

Todays participation was below the recent average as fewer than 685 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

There was no economic data of note released today.

Tomorrows economic data will be limited to the New Home Sales Report for July (consensus 580k), which will be released at 10:00 ET.

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