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Strong finish for US stocks
Feb 22,2017

U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday, 21 February 2017 with major indices simultaneously closing at records for a second session in a row on the back of gains in defensive sectors and energy, even as concerns remained about the markets valuation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6%, or 118.95 points, to a record 20,743.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 27.37 points, or 0.5%, to close at a record 5,865.95. The S&P 500 index rose 0.6% to finish at a record 2,365.38, a gain of 14.22 points, led by 1% or more gains in defensive sectors like real estate, utilities, and consumer staples. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 27.37 points, or 0.5%, to close at a record 5,865.95.

Stocks finished near their highs of the session with the days gains broad as all 11 of the S&P 500s sectors finished higher. Gains in Dow were led by gains in Wal-Mart Stores and UnitedHealth Group. Tuesday marked the eighth straight session of closing records for the blue-chip average.

The market has been in a pronounced uptrend since the election of Donald Trump in November. Investors are hoping that the policies he is expected to pursue, including tax cuts and deregulation, will accelerate economic expansion and lift corporate profits. Trumps recent suggestions that policies would be unveiled soon have spurred recent buying, although few details have emerged.

In the latest economic data, Markits read on manufacturing fell in February, as did the firms services gauge.

Equity indices came out of the gate strong this morning, rallying on an uptick in crude oil and the highest eurozone composite PMI reading in nearly six years. But the stock market hit a speed bump in front of the 12:00 pm ET speech from Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker who is a voter on this years FOMC. The speech turned out to be a non-event as Mr. Harker didnt provide any new information, reiterating his belief that three rate hikes are appropriate for 2017.

After trending sideways in the wake of Mr. Harkers comments, the major averages regained their momentum late in the afternoon session to hit fresh session highs going into the close.

Bullion prices ended lower at Comex on Tuesday, 21 February 2017 at Comex. Gold prices on Tuesday closed at break-even levels, confounding some market players as the commodity pared an earlier loss in the session, even as U.S. equities resumed their record run and the dollar strengthened.

April gold slipped 20 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,238.90 an ounce, after trading as low as $1,226.80, earlier in the session. May silver also reduced an earlier decline to settle down 2.9 cents, or 0.2%, at $18.074 an ounce on Tuesday.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.5% at 101.4000. A stronger dollar usually provides a headwind to dollar-pegged assets, making them less attractive to buyers using other monetary units.

Crude-oil futures settled sharply higher on Tuesday, 21 February 2017 as investors bid up futures contracts on the heels of growing optimism about compliance to a global pact to curb crude output. However, oil finished off its best levels as talk of a six-month extension to that global production agreement was played down by an OPEC official on Tuesday, and natural-gas futures settled at a nearly six-month low amid a bout of warm weather.

West Texas Intermediate for April delivery n++ the U.S. benchmark contract n++ closed up 55 cents, or 1%, at 54.33 a barrel. Those for the March contract which expired Tuesday, settled up 66 cents, or 1.2%, at $54.06. The April contract for global crude benchmark Brent advanced 48 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $56.66 a barrel. Oil futures had broadly been higher throughout the session but gave up some of their gains later.

The Treasury market began Tuesday with a sizable loss, but dovish comments from Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari (FOMC voter) brought Treasuries back to their flat lines. In the morning session, Mr. Kashkari stated that the U.S. labor market has more room to run, suggesting that he believes there is no hurry for the Fed to raise rates.

The benchmark 10-yr yield finished the day one basis point higher at 2.43% after showing a four basis point gain earlier in the session.

Wednesday will see several economic reports, including the MBA Mortgage Application Index at 7:00 am ET, January Existing Home Sales (consensus 5.57 million) at 10:00 am ET, and FOMC Minutes at 2:00 pm ET.

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Asia Pacific Market: Equities extend gains
Feb 21,2017

Asia Pacific share market mostly extended their rally on Tuesday, 21 February 2017, after a top Federal Reserve official said the bank could lift interest rates as soon as next month. Chinese indexes led regional gainers as expectations for big flows into stock markets from pension funds, meanwhile Japanese equities rallied as the yen pulled back against the U.S. dollar. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.2% and held below a 19-month high touched last Thursday.

Expectations of a hike have increased since Donald Trump was elected president in November as dealers bet his big-spending, tax-cutting plans will fan inflation. And the latest reading on prices increases, as well as healthy jobs growth and factory activity, have reinforced that view.

With the US markets closed for the Presidents Holiday last Monday, Asian markets have had few global cues off which to trade. Europe provided a tepid lead with hopes of a bailout deal for Greece tempered by signs of growing anti-EU sentiment in France ahead of the presidential election in April and May.

Investors are keeping an eye on the release this week of Fed minutes from its most recent policy meeting hoping for fresh clues about its plans for rates, while preliminary factory figures are also due this week from the US and Europe.

The market also focused on the expected policy information of US tax cuts and spending plans to be revealed by President Donald Trump in the coming weeks. Investors intend to hold the US president a vow to update the markets on his economic plans in the next two or three weeks, which pressures the Trump administration to coax the Congress into starting a draft.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Market ends nudge lower

Australian equity market ended nudged lower today, as gains in basic material stocks were outweighed by losses in other sectors due to disappointing earnings. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 4.10 points, or 0.07%, of 5,791, while the broader All Ordinaries index declined 5.10 points, or 0.09%, to 5,835.40.

Materials stocks gained, driven higher by climbing copper and iron ore prices. Sentiment for the miners was boosted by copper prices which bounced back above US$6,000 a tonne on Monday as a dispute affecting production at the worlds second-biggest copper mine worsened. Rio Tinto rose 2% to A$68.99 while Fortescue Metals added 2.7% to A$7.17.

Diversified miners BHP Billiton jumped 1% to A$26.73. The worlds largest miner by market capital, BHP Billiton declared a bigger-than-expected dividend and reported a near eight-fold rise in underlying net profit in half-year results announced after Tuesdays market close.

Financial stocks closed mixed on profit taking after four straight days of gains. Commonwealth Bank of Australia edged up 0.03% to A$85.94, National Australia Bank was up 0.8% to A$31.96, and Westpac was tad 0.03% up at A$34.13, while Australia & New Zealand Banking shed 0.8% to A$30.62.

The energy sector was driven lower by slides in the share-prices for WorleyParsons, Oil Search and Duet Group. Oil Search was down 2.1% to A$6.92 after it reported a 70% drop in annual core profit, hit by weak oil and gas prices. WorleyParsons fell 7.8%, adding to losses on Monday after it reported a half-year statutory net loss of A$2.4 million. Duet Group shares dropped 1.8%.

Brambles extended its losses, slumping 3% to over a 2-year low after the pallets and container group issued a profit warning on Monday.

Nikkei settles up

The Japan share market settled higher today, on the back of yen depreciation against greenback, with automakers, banks, pulp and paper, mining and machinery-linked issues leading the way. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.68%, or 130.36 points, to 19,381.44, while the Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.56%, or 8.59 points, to 1,555.60.

Exporters saw fractional gains on the back of a relatively weaker yen. The yen traded at 113.46 to the dollar, weakening from levels near 113.06 earlier. A weaker yen is usually a positive for exporters as it increases their overseas earnings when converted back to local currency. Toyota shares rose 0.72%, Sony shares were up 0.37% and Honda rose 0.62%. Suzuki Motor advanced 2.5% and Mitsubishi Motors added 2.1%.

Toshiba shares fell 1.40%, following reports that the troubled conglomerate wants to raise at least 1 trillion yen ($8.83 billion) from the sale of a majority stake in its flash memory business. The company previously reported a $6.3 billion writedown of its U.S. nuclear unit.

Resona Holdings rose 1.5% to Y639.1 and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group added 0.4% to Y4,567 following media reports that the two banking groups are in talks to merge operations of three regional banks based in western Japans Kansai region.

China Stocks close near 3-month peak

Mainland China stock market settled near three-month high, as expectations for big flows into stock markets from pension funds continued to improve risk appetite. Sentiment was also lifted by news that many listed companies scrapped or revised their plans for the private placement of shares, after regulators introduced policies to check excessiven++ fundraising. Most sectors edged higher, with gains were led by real estate and material shares. At the close, the blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.3% to 3,482.82 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4% to 3,253.33 points, its highest close since December 1. The tech-heavy start-up index ChiNex climbed 1.4% to a 5-week high.

Shanghai Bailian Group rose by its 10% trade limit for the second session, while Yonghui Superstores also shot up 10% to a 16-month high, after Alibaba Group said it formed a strategic partnership with Bailian Group, boosting appetite for shares in listed retailers.

Hong Kong Stocks fall, HSBC tumbles after profit slump

The Hong Kong stock market staged an intra-day reversal and closed lower on Tuesday, 21 February 2017, as drop in heavily weighted HSBC after disappointing results offset a rally in Hong Kong property and mainland insurance sectors. Twenty-four stocks rose and 24 fell among the 50 blue chips, with two stocks remaining unchanged. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 0.76% or 182.45 points to 23963.63. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-share index, was down 0.35% or 36.92 points to 10,408.56. Turnover increased to HK$87.7 billion from HK$78 billion on Monday.

The northbound quota balance of the Shanghai-HK Connect program was RMB12.388 billion, accounting for 95.3% of the daily allowed quota of RMB13 billion. The southbound quota balance was RMB9.467 billion, accounting for 90.2% of the daily allowed quota of RMB10.5 billion.

As for the Shenzhen-HK Connect, the northbound quota balance was RMB12.149 billion, accounting for 93.5% of the daily allowed quota of RMB13 billion. The southbound quota balance was RMB10.038 billion, accounting for 95.6% of the daily allowed quota of RMB10.5 billion.

HSBC Holdings PLC (00005) plunged 5% to HK$65.55, contributing a 129-point fall to the HSI. The global bank announced its pre-tax net declined 62.3% (compared to consensus of -30%) to US$7.11 billion. Its US$1 billion share purchase program also got investors down. Hang Seng Bank, majority owned by HSBC, inched up 0.1% to HK$163.3, after posting a 41% drop in its annual net income, also below market expectations.

Local property stocks rallied ahead of the first budget from Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, which is expected to include plans for land sales. Sun Hung Kai Properties surged 3% to HK$111.7 and Henderson Land Development edged up 1.4% to HK$44.6. Belle (01880) surged 8.6% to HK$5.54 becoming the top blue-chip gainer. Credit Suisse upgraded its rating and target price for the stock.

Shoe retailer Belle International surged 8.6% to HK$5.54 after Credit Suisse upgraded its rating for the stock and raised the target price by nearly 60%, projecting an improved earnings outlook in 2017.

Sensex gains for the fourth straight day

Indian benchmark indices continued to move up for the fourth straight day and closed with modest gains today, led by gains in Axis Bank, Reliance Industries and HDFC. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 100.01 points or 0.35% to settle at 28,761.59. The Nifty 50 index gained 28.65 points or 0.32% to settle at 8,907.85. The Sensex hit five-month closing high and Nifty hit more than five-month closing high. Cement and bank stocks gained.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) rose 1.36% after the company said that Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL), subsidiary of the company, Jio has breached the 100 million customer mark in 170 days. The announcement was made during market hours today, 21 February 2017. Jio announced that in addition to its own market leading tariff plans, it will also offer its customers the option to choose the highest selling tariff plan of any of the other leading Indian telecom operators, but with 20% more data than what any other operator provides.

Shares of Bharti Airtel declined 3.38% after the announcement by RJIL. Shares of Bharti Infratel fell 4.26%. Bharti Infratel is a provider of tower and related infrastructure and is a unit of Bharti Airtel.

Ambuja Cements fell 0.29% to Rs 238.70 on profit booking after seeing pre-result upmove. The companys consolidated net profit rose 85.25% to Rs 205.70 crore on 102.41% rise in total income to Rs 4993.30 crore in Q4 December 2016 over Q4 December 2015. The result was announced during market hours yesterday, 20 February 2017. The companys consolidated net profit rose 38.77% to Rs 1121.13 crore on 112.12% growth in total income to Rs 20861.97 crore in the year ended December 2016 over the year ended December 2015. In its outlook, the company said that it expects good cement growth in 2017, supported by the governments continued focus on housing and infrastructure development and anticipate volume effects from demonetisation to be reduced by the end of Q1 March 2017. The announcement of interest subsidy schemes and an interest rate cut, the recent announcement in the Union Budget for infrastructure development, including the award of infrastructure status to affordable housing and the increased budget allocation for roads, railways and irrigation will be key drivers for cement demand, it added.

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Hong Kong: Stocks fall, HSBC tumbles after profit slump
Feb 21,2017

The Hong Kong stock market staged an intra-day reversal and closed lower on Tuesday, 21 February 2017, as drop in heavily weighted HSBC after disappointing results offset a rally in Hong Kong property and mainland insurance sectors. Twenty-four stocks rose and 24 fell among the 50 blue chips, with two stocks remaining unchanged. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 0.76% or 182.45 points to 23963.63. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-share index, was down 0.35% or 36.92 points to 10,408.56. Turnover increased to HK$87.7 billion from HK$78 billion on Monday.

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Nikkei settles up
Feb 21,2017

The Japan share market settled higher on Tuesday, 21 February 2017, on the back of yen depreciation against greenback, with automakers, banks, pulp and paper, mining and machinery-linked issues leading the way. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.68%, or 130.36 points, to 19,381.44, while the Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.56%, or 8.59 points, to 1,555.60.

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Australia Market ends nudge lower
Feb 21,2017

Australian equity market ended nudge lower on Tuesday, 21 February 2017, as gains in basic material stocks were outweighed by losses in other sectors due to disappointing earnings. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 4.10 points, or 0.07%, of 5,791, while the broader All Ordinaries index declined 5.10 points, or 0.09%, to 5,835.40.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks trade higher
Feb 20,2017

Asia Pacific share market closed modest higher in thin trade on Monday, 20 February 2017, with investors cautious in the absence of firm triggers ahead of a busy week for US Federal Reserve events and further details from President Donald Trump on his economic policies, including tax reforms. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2% as of 10.31 GMT.

Wall Streets strong performance last week continued to reverberate after US stocks hit new highs Friday for the sixth time in seven sessions. With US markets closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday, investors were turning to corporate and political developments elsewhere.

Europe was back in focus after a poll showed German Chancellor Angela Merkels ruling party lagging the Social Democrats for the first time under her leadership ahead of looming elections. Uncertainty in France was also on traders minds.

In the US, no less than five heads of regional Federal Reserve banks are due to speak this week on the interest rates front while Fed Board Governor Jerome Powell appears on Wednesday, when minutes of the last policy meeting are also due. Separately, in a speech in Singapore on Monday, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said she would be comfortable raising interest rates at this point if the economy maintained its current pace of performance.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Market fall 0.2%

Australian equity market ended down, weighed down by selloff in energy and materials stocks. Meanwhile weak earnings from logistics company Brambles and engineering and services contractor WorleyParsons also sparked heavy selling. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 10.70 points, or 0.18%, of 5,795.10, while the broader All Ordinaries index declined 10.50 points, or 0.18%, to 5,840.50.

The major banks added to recent gains in the wake of well-received earnings reports from Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Australia & New Zealand Banking, but that was more than offset by weakness in energy, materials and industrial stocks.

Energy and materials stocks lose ground as oil prices weakened. After falling on Friday, crude futures remained under pressure in Asian trading on signs that U.S. production is steadily rising, threatening to undermine efforts to reduce output by OPEC. Among energy stocks, Woodside Petroleum fell 1%, Oil Search dropped 1.7% and Santos lost 1.5%. Diversified miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were down 0.6% and 0.2% respectively, although iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals Group gained 1.5% as Chinese iron-ore futures extended a rally that paused last week.

Consumer cyclicals also took a hit after supermarket operator Wesfarmers, which went ex-dividend, fell 2.20%.

Financial stocks ended firmly higher in the wake of well-received earnings reports from Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Australia & New Zealand Banking. National Australia Bank was little changed, while Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ each made gains.

Australian pallets and container group Brambles sank 9.9% after it reduced its full-year earnings guidance following a drop in first-half profit on slowing North American pallet sales and a large impairment of its oil-and-gas assets.

WorleyParsons tumbled 13% after reporting a first-half loss following further restructuring costs and with continued weak demand from resources producers.

Nikkei settles 0.1% up

The Japan share market settled above the boundary level after recouping initial losses, as the yen lost some of its early strength and gains in select blue chip stocks including Bridgestone and SoftBank Group. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 16.46 points, or 0.09%, to close at 19,251.08. The Topix index of all first-section issues finished up 2.47 points, or 0.16%, at 1,547.01.

Tokyo market opened on a weak note reflecting the dollars fall below 113 yen level. The Japanese currency attracted safe-haven purchases, on the back of growing concerns over the upcoming French presidential election and because the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump faces difficulties appointing key officials. Local market gradually trimmed its loss toward the end of the morning session. But the key market gauge started the afternoon session with a modest gain and moved in positive territory for most of the rest of the day, with investors heartened to see the greenback rise back above the 113 yen line.

Shares of Japanese insurer and exporter stocks underperformed. Dai-ichi Life Holdings lost 0.7% to Y2,206.5 ($19.50). Chip maker Renesas Electronics fell 1.5% to Y1,019. However, selling didnt accelerate as Japanese government bond yields rose modestly and the yen reversed its course to weaken slightly.

Tire maker Bridgestone rose 5.4% to a 15-month high of Y4,549 after the company late Friday announced a share-buyback program, despite lackluster results for 2016. Starting Monday, Bridgestone is buying up to 6.4% of its existing shares, possibly spending as much as Y150 billion ($1.33 billion). The company reported a 6.6% decline in net profit for 2016 because of a higher yen and lower truck and bus tire sales in North America.

SoftBank rose 3.2% to Y8,789 on continuing hopes that the Japanese company is transforming its business model after its agreement last week to buy Fortress Investment Group.

China Stocks gains on pension fund reports

Mainland China stock market settled higher, with gains led by wine makers and banks, after media reports said pension funds may begin flowing into the countrys stock markets as early as this week. Investor sentiment was also supported by new rules unveiled by regulators late on Friday to restrict excessive and frequent fundraising by some listed companies. At the close, the blue-chip CSI300 index, which tracks large companies in Shanghai or Shenzhen, advanced 1.46% to close at 3,471.39. The Shanghai Composite Index added 1.18% to close at 3,239.96. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, increased 0.9% to 1962.53. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, rose 0.64% to 1,894.96 points.

State media reported on Friday that China had started investing an initial 360 billion yuan ($52.42 billion) in pension insurance funds from seven provinces and cities in financial markets. The first tranche of that investment was expected to flow into the stock market as early as this week. Non-cyclical stocks such as pharmaceuticals and wine makers would benefit most from the pension fund investment, as insurance firms prefer stocks with stable returns.

Also on Friday, China unveiled rules to check excessive additional fundraising by companies, requiring a listed companys private share placement plan must not exceed 20% of its share base.

Wine makers were popular bets, with an index tracking the liquor sector rallied 4%, as the industry has been gradually recovering from President Xi Jinpings graft clampdown and the plasticizer scandal since 2012.

Retail conglomerate Shanghai Bailian Group surged by its 10% daily limit to 17.82 yuan on Monday after the announcement of a tie-up with e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Heavyweight banking shares were among the gainers in Shanghai. Bank of China added 1.65% to 3.69 yuan, while China CITIC Bank Corp climbed 2.17% to 7.05 yuan.

Hong Kong Stocks hit 18-month high

The Hong Kong stock market advanced modestly, sending the benchmark indices to their highest level since August 215, as new rules giving Chinese insurers greater access to Hong Kong stocks and a crackdown on risky products at home pushing mainland funds into the former British colony. The benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 0.47% or 112.34 points higher to 24,146.08, the highest since August 2015 and the third straight close above 24,000. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-share index, was up 0.82% or 85.35 points to 10,445.48. Turnover decreased to HK$78.1 billion from HK$86.3 billion on Friday.

Long-term capital from mutual funds is seeping into Hong Kong equities, considered more attractively priced than those in China and some Asian markets on some valuation metrics. Chinese investors including mutual funds and major insurers have been steadily increasing their allocation to Hong Kong stocks

Brokerage house expects Chinese insurers to earmark 250 billion yuan ($36.5 billion) in fresh capital this year - about 3% of their total assets - while onshore mutual funds are set to pump in 50 billion yuan via the connect schemes.

Southbound flows via the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect recorded a ninth week of net purchases while utilisation rates have climbed to more than 20% of the daily quota compared with an average of less than 11% in January.

HSBC (00005) gained 1% to HK$69. Hang Seng Bank (00011) edged down 0.2% to HK$163.1. Both banks are scheduled to report their earnings results on Tuesday.

AIA (01299) also reports its earnings on Friday (24 February). It inched up 0.2% to HK$49.1.

HSBC Research upgraded its rating for Mengniu Dairy (02319) to buy from reduce with a higher target price of HK$19.2 (was HK$11.8). Mengniu Dairy shot up 3% to HK$15.54. It was the top blue-chip gainer today.

YST Dairy (01431) also surged 16% to HK$0.65 with transacted shares soaring 35 times against the daily average.

HKTV (01137) jumped 5.7% to HK$1.49 after the company said its e-Commerce Fulfilment Centre has obtained an approval.

Indian Market gains for third straight day

Indian benchmark indices logged decent gains on first trading day of the week as upbeat global stocks buoyed sentiment. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, gained 192.83 points or 0.68% to settle at 28,661.58. The Nifty 50 index rose 57.50 points or 0.65% to settle at 8,879.20. Key indices gained for the third straight day today. The Sensex hit almost five-month closing high. Nifty hit more than five-month closing high. Metal and mining stocks were in demand as copper prices rose in global commodity markets. IT and PSU bank stocks also rose.

IT stocks rose. Infosys (up 1.2%), Wipro (up 0.47%), Oracle Financial Services Software (up 2.39%) and HCL Technologies (up 0.47%) gained. Tech Mahindra (down 0.64%) and MphasiS (down 0.67%) declined.

TCS jumped 4.08% to Rs 2,506.50. TCS announced at the fag end of the session today, 20 February 2017, that the board of directors of the company at a meeting held today, 20 February 2017, approved a proposal to buyback up to 5.61 crore shares of the company for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 16000 crore, being 2.85% of the total paid up equity share capital, at Rs 2,850 per share. He buyback price was at a premium of 13.7% over todays closing price.

The buyback is proposed to be made from the shareholders of the company on a proportionate basis under the tender offer route using the stock exchange mechanism.

Shares of public sector banks rose. UCO Bank (up 2.66%), Syndicate Bank (up 1.39%), Punjab National Bank (up 1.82%), Corporation Bank (up 1.08%), Allahabad Bank (up 0.92%), Bank of Baroda (up 1.66%), State Bank of India (SBI) (up 0.17%), Union Bank of India (up 0.61%), and Bank of India (up 1.33%) edged higher. Canara Bank (down 0.48%) and United Bank of India (down 0.04%) declined.

Metal and mining stocks were in demand as copper prices rose in global commodity markets. Vedanta (up 2.64%), JSW Steel (up 1.73%), Tata Steel (up 4.01%), Steel Authority of India (Sail) (up 3.01%), National Aluminium Company (up 0.93%), Hindustan Zinc (up 0.97%), NMDC (up 2.53%) and Hindustan Copper (up 1.4%) edged higher. Hindalco Industries (down 0.3%) fell.

Jindal Steel and Power surged 7.8% to Rs 100.20 on reports a domestic brokerage has upgraded its rating on the stock to buy from sell and also revised target price upward to Rs 125 from Rs 60 earlier.

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Hong Kong Stocks hit 18-month high
Feb 20,2017

The Hong Kong stock market advanced modestly on Monday, 20 February 2017, sending the benchmark indices to their highest level since August 215, as new rules giving Chinese insurers greater access to Hong Kong stocks and a crackdown on risky products at home pushing mainland funds into the former British colony. The benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 0.47% or 112.34 points higher to 24,146.08, the highest since August 2015 and the third straight close above 24,000. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-share index, was up 0.82% or 85.35 points to 10,445.48. Turnover decreased to HK$78.1 billion from HK$86.3 billion on Friday.

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China Stocks gains on pension fund reports
Feb 20,2017

Mainland China stock market settled higher on Monday, 20 February 2017, with gains led by wine makers and banks, after media reports said pension funds may begin flowing into the countrys stock markets as early as this week. Investor sentiment was also supported by new rules unveiled by regulators late on Friday to restrict excessive and frequent fundraising by some listed companies. At the close, the blue-chip CSI300 index, which tracks large companies in Shanghai or Shenzhen, advanced 1.46% to close at 3,471.39. The Shanghai Composite Index added 1.18% to close at 3,239.96. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, increased 0.9% to 1962.53. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, rose 0.64% to 1,894.96 points.

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Nikkei settles 0.1% up
Feb 20,2017

The Japan share market settled above the boundary level after recouping initial losses on Monday, 20 February 2017, as the yen lost some of its early strength and gains in select blue chip stocks including Bridgestone and SoftBank Group. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 16.46 points, or 0.09%, to close at 19,251.08. The Topix index of all first-section issues finished up 2.47 points, or 0.16%, at 1,547.01.

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Australia Market fall 0.2%
Feb 20,2017

Australian equity market ended down on Monday, 20 February 2017, weighed down by selloff in energy and materials stocks. Meanwhile weak earnings from logistics company Brambles and engineering and services contractor WorleyParsons also sparked heavy selling. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 10.70 points, or 0.18%, of 5,795.10, while the broader All Ordinaries index declined 10.50 points, or 0.18%, to 5,840.50.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks edge to new 19-month highs
Feb 16,2017

Asia Pacific share market edged to new 19-month highs on Thursday, 16 February 2017, with gains underpinned by an ongoing rally on Wall Street, even as rising expectations of a March rate increase by the Federal Reserve kept investors cautious. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2% to its highest since July 2015.

Stocks tracked Wall Street as the US market indexes pushed further into record-high territory on Wednesday, helped by upbeat retail sales data for January and ongoing optimism that President Donald Trump will cut corporate taxes.

Yesterdays data lifted the odds for a Fed rate hike in March to 42% from 30% two days ago, helped by Fed chair Janet Yellens testimony that the central bank doesnt need to wait for Trump to outline plans on fiscal stimulus before resuming rate hikes. US year-on-year inflation reached 2.5% for January, the fastest pace since 2012.

In Commodities- In commodity markets, oil prices softened as record high U.S. crude and gasoline inventories fed concerns about a global glut. U.S. crude was down 0.1% at $53.07 a barrel and Brent was flat at $55.75 a barrel.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Market ends near two-year high

Australian equity market ended near two-year high on tracking positive lead from Wall Street overnight, with financial and material stocks leading gains, while the telecommunications sector proved a laggard. ASX sectoral performance was mixed, with earnings worries dragged on consumer and healthcare stocks. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 7.2 points, or 0.12%, of 5,816.3, the highest since early May 2015, while the broader All Ordinaries index inched up 3.9 points, or 0.07%, to 5,863.

Financial stocks were biggest contributor to the ASX rally, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia leading the gains after logging a fresh record first-half profit and pointed to a broadly positive economic backdrop for the sector. National Australia Bank, Australia & New Zealand Banking and Commonwealth Bank of Australia each added 0.7% and Westpac Banking was 1.1% higher.

The healthcare care sector also managed a rise, helped by strong gain in blood products and vaccine maker CSL after it reported a 12% rise in its half-year profit.

The telecommunication sector was pressured by biggest drag on Telstra, which lost 6.6% after the telecommunications operator said first-half earnings fell 14% as it was dented by regulatory price cuts and it trimmed income guidance for the full-year after disappointing mobile phone sales in the first six months.

Nikkei falls 0.47% on strong yen

The Japan share market settled down, as risk sentiment weighed down by yen ascent to 114 level against the dollar and skeptical about a possible March interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve, overshadowing another record close on Wall Street. The 225-issue Nikkei average shed 90.45 points, or 0.47%, to close at 19,347.53. The Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 2.62 points, or 0.17%, at 1,551.07.

Shares of Japanese exporters finished the session down due to yens advance against the U.S. dollar. The yens advance hurts exporters profits earned overseas when repatriated and dents the price competitiveness abroad of their products made in Japan. Toyota Motor ended down 0.5% to 6,457 yen, Nissan Motor fell 0.3% to 1,123.50 yen, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was down 2.4% at 444.90 yen. Semiconductor production-equipment maker Tokyo Electron fell 2.2% to 11,300 yen and optics-product maker Olympus lost 2.0% to Y3,940 yen.

The financial sector bucked the downward trend, tracking overseas counterparts on a rise in U.S. Treasury yields after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that she sees a solid U.S. recovery in her second day of testimony before Congress. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 0.3% to 770.70 yen, while nonlife insurer Sompo Holdings finished up 1.7% at 4,308 yen.

Insurers rose as the prospect of a higher-yield environment increased after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled more rate increases this year on Tuesday. Tokio Marine Holdings gained 2.2% to 5,129 yen and Dai-ichi Life Holdings rose 0.7% to 2,241 yen.

Toshiba continued stumbling, dropping 3.3% to 202.70 yen. The company has decided not to sell any stake in its chip business before the current business year ends next month, in a move that makes it certain the company will have a negative net worth at the end of the period,

Coal-Metal stocks lead China market gains

Mainland China stock market settled higher, with gains led by coal miners and metal firms, as the publication of regional governments investment targets lifted commodities markets. At the close, the blue-chip CSI300 index, which tracks large companies in Shanghai or Shenzhen, advanced 0.56% to close at 3,440.93. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.52% to close at 3,229.62. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, increased 0.57% to 1958.11. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, drorose 0.28% to 1,897.63 points.

An index tracking Chinas major non-ferrous metals added as much as 2.8% to hit a fresh two-month high, while an index tracking coal miners gained 2.2%. Chinas high-profile One Belt, One Road initiative to link markets from Asia to Europe and its accelerated infrastructure investment at home have boosted demand for building-related resources and raw materials, including steel, cement and base metals. Shares in China Molybdenum soared by their 10% trading limit to a more than seven-month high. The stock has gained some 20% in the last month alone, and more than 30% over the past year on stronger demand for high-strength steel alloys.

From the economic news section- China should prudently manage its process of deleveraging to avoid a liquidity crisis, a debt-deflation trap and asset bubbles, the Research Bureau of the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) said in a working paper Wednesday. China should take steps to prevent debt-deflation risks caused by excessively squeezed credit and investments, and should also curb liquidity risks and asset bubbles stemming from rapidly rising leverage ratios, noted the paper, which was published on the PBOCs website. The paper also said that markets should play the main role in deciding who to leverage and who to deleverage.

Hong Kong Stocks up on solid U.S. lead

The Hong Kong stock market climbed to best close in 18 months, thanks to an ongoing rally on Wall Street and bolstered by gains in Chinese stocks. The benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 0.47% or 112.83 points higher to 24,107.70, the highest since August 2015 and the first close above 24,000 since September last year. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-share index, edged up 0.18% or 18.98 points to 10,455.02. Turnover decreased to HK$107.6 billion from HK$111 billion on Wednesday.

Stocks tracked Wall Street as the US market indexes pushed further into record-high territory on Wednesday, helped by upbeat retail sales data for January and ongoing optimism that President Donald Trump will cut corporate taxes.

Chinese banks extended their gains after data published this week showed new loans on the mainland rose to their second-highest level in history last month. China Construction Bank (CCB) rallied 2.87% to HK$6.45 following a 5% jump on Wednesday. The Bank of Communications climbed 1.62% to HK$6.28 while the Bank of China (BOC) was up 1.51% to HK$4.03.

Property counters bucked the uptrend as US Fed Chair Janet Yellen made it clear that she would speed up the rate hike pace. CK Property (01113) slipped 1.5% to HK$52. SHKP (00016) fell 0.7% to HK$108.3. Sino Land (00083) inched down 0.6% to HK$12.64.

Lenovo tumbled 6.69% to HK$4.88 after it posted a 67% drop in third-quarter net profit.

Healthcare, realty stocks push Sensex up

Indian stock market closed higher, due to heavy buying in healthcare, realty, IT and metal stocks amid firm global cues. The benchmark BSE index closed 145.71 points or 0.52% up at 28,301.27. The broader NSE index rose 53.3 points or 0.61% to 8,778.

IT stocks led the gains after Tata Consultancy Services said its board would consider a share buyback plan at a meeting next week. Shares of TCS, the countrys biggest software services exporter, gained 1.3% to their highest since September 7, 2016, heading for their 10th session of gains in 12 this month.

State Bank of India climbed 0.7% after the federal cabinet had on Wednesday approved its planned merger with five subsidiary banks.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries rose 4.3%. Media reports that the drug maker has received approval from the U.K. regulator for generic drug Tobramycin helped the gains, dealers said.

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Australia Market ends near two-year high
Feb 16,2017

Australian equity market ended near two-year high on Thursday, 16 February 2017, on tracking positive lead from Wall Street overnight, with financial and material stocks leading gains, while the telecommunications sector proved a laggard. ASX sectoral performance was mixed, with earnings worries dragged on consumer and healthcare stocks. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 7.2 points, or 0.12%, of 5,816.3, the highest since early May 2015, while the broader All Ordinaries index inched up 3.9 points, or 0.07%, to 5,863.

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Nikkei falls 0.47% on strong yen
Feb 16,2017

The Japan share market settled down on Thursday, 16 February 2017, as risk sentiment weighed down by yen ascent to 114 level against the dollar and skeptical about a possible March interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve, overshadowing another record close on Wall Street. The 225-issue Nikkei average shed 90.45 points, or 0.47%, to close at 19,347.53. The Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 2.62 points, or 0.17%, at 1,551.07.

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Coal-Metal stocks lead China market gains
Feb 16,2017

Mainland China stock market settled higher on Thursday, 16 February 2017, with gains led by coal miners and metal firms, as the publication of regional governments investment targets lifted commodities markets. At the close, the blue-chip CSI300 index, which tracks large companies in Shanghai or Shenzhen, advanced 0.56% to close at 3,440.93. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.52% to close at 3,229.62. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, increased 0.57% to 1958.11. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, rose 0.28% to 1,897.63 points.

Powered by Capital Market - Live News

Hong Kong Stocks up on solid U.S. lead
Feb 16,2017

The Hong Kong stock market climbed to best close in 18 months on Thursday, 16 February 2017, thanks to an ongoing rally on Wall Street and bolstered by gains in Chinese stocks. The benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 0.47% or 112.83 points higher to 24,107.70, the highest since August 2015 and the first close above 24,000 since September last year. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-share index, edged up 0.18% or 18.98 points to 10,455.02. Turnover decreased to HK$107.6 billion from HK$111 billion on Wednesday.

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