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China Market surges on upbeat China trade data
Apr 13,2016

Mainland China stock market finished stronger on Wednesday, 13 April 2016, thanks to brisk purchases of a wide range of issues, with investor sentiment buoyed by positive China trade data and jump in crude oil prices. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index declined 10.31 points, or 0.34%, to 3023.65. The CSI 300 Index, measuring exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, dropped 11.65 points, or 0.36%, to 3218.45.

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Hang Seng settles above the 21100-point plateau
Apr 13,2016

The Hong Kong stock market advanced for sixth straight session on Wednesday, 13 April 2016, as risk sentiments buoyed after better-than-expected Chinese trade data raised hopes the worlds second-largest economy could be stabilizing. The benchmark Hang Seng Index advanced 654.27 points, or 3.19%, to 21158.71 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, added 349.63 points, or 4%, to 9191.49 points. Turnover soared to HK$93.6 billion from HK$51.9 billion on Tuesday.

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US stocks end day with strong gains
Apr 13,2016

U.S. stocks closed near their session highs on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 as oil settled higher for a third day in a row and at its highest price of the year. Todays session began on a wobbly note as global growth concerns and earnings prospects pressured the major averages from their opening gains. Ahead of todays session the IMF lowered its 2016 growth estimate for the global economy from 3.4% to 3.2%. Meanwhile, mixed results in Alcoas first quarter earnings report also acted as a headwind.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 164.84 points, or 0.9%, to close at 17,721.25. The S&P 500 Index rose 19.73 points, or 1%, to finish at 2,061.72, leaving it up 0.9% for the year. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 38.69 points, or 0.8%, to close at 4,872.09.

All ten sectors were in the green with energy, financials, and materials sectors leading the advance.

Todays economic data included March Import and Export Prices and the Treasury Budget for March 2016. Specifically, a 4.9% increase in import fuel prices in March helped drive a 0.2% increase in the price index for U.S. imports. That is the first monthly increase since June 2015, although it would be remiss not to add that the import price index is still down 6.2% year-over-year. Excluding fuel, import prices declined 0.1% for the third straight month with falling prices for consumer goods, food, and capital goods offsetting rising prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials. Export prices, meanwhile, were unchanged in March after declining 0.5% in February, leaving them down 6.1% year-over-year. Excluding agriculture, the price index for nonagricultural exports rose 0.3% with higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials more than offsetting falling auto prices.That was the first monthly increase for that measure since May 2015.

Separately, the Treasury Budget statement for March showed a deficit of $108.0 billion. This Treasury data is not seasonally adjusted so the March deficit cannot be compared to the February surplus of $52.9 billion.

The U.S. Dollar Index ended its day narrowly above its flat line as losses against the Canadian dollar partially offset gains against the yen and the euro. The dollar ended lower by 1.1% against the commodity-sensitive currency. Meanwhile, the euro lost 0.2% against the dollar while the dollar/yen pair finished at 108.51 (+0.5%).

On the flipside, technology, consumer staples and utilities rounded out the leaderboard. In the influential technology sector, heavily-weighted Facebook rallied as the companys CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new messenger platform. Meanwhile, the broader space underperformed as Juniper Networks weighed on the networking sub-group. The stock fell 7.4% after the company lowered its top and bottom-line guidance for the first quarter.

Crude oil futures rallied to their highest settlement of the year on Tuesday, 12 April 2016, on speculation that Saudi Arabia and Russia have reached a deal to stabilize production, ahead of a meeting of key oil producers in Doha, Qatar, this weekend. Adding further support to prices, a U.S. government agency cut its forecasts on domestic crude output for this year and next.

West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery jumped $1.81, or 4.5%, to settle at $42.17 a barrel. That marked the best settlement of the year for a most-active contract. June Brent oil added $1.86, or 4.3%, to $44.69 a barrel on Londons ICE Futures exchange, which is also a 2016 high.

In a monthly report on Tuesday, the Energy Information Administration raised its price forecasts on WTI and Brent crude and cut its U.S. oil output estimates for this year and next. The Energy Information Administration issues its own figures on Wednesday morning.

Bullion prices ended with strong gains on Tuesday, 12 April 2016. Prices rose as the dollar index weakended against the basket of counterpart currencies. In precious metals, gold rallied above the previous days close in the afternoon, consolidating to close higher by $2.80 (+0.2%) to $1260.90/oz. May silver futures closed session $0.24 higher (+1.5%) at $16.22/oz.

Tomorrows economic data will include the 7:00 ET release of the weekly MBA Mortgage Index while March Core PPI (Briefing.com consensus 0.2%) and Retail Sales for March (Briefing.com consensus +0.1%) will be released at 8:30 ET. Finally, February Business Inventories (Briefing.com consensus -0.1%) and the Feds Beige Book for April will be released at 10:00 ET and 14:00 ET, respectively.

Additionally, Chinas Trade Balance for March is tentatively scheduled to be released at 21:40 ET.

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Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are shut for holidays
Apr 04,2016

Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are shut for holidays

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Nikkei ends near 1-month low
Apr 04,2016

Japan share market ended mixed on Monday, 4 April 2016, as boost from the better-than-expected U.S. jobs data last week offset by a stronger yen. Major gainers included fishery, agriculture and forestry as well as food issues, while transportation equipment and rubber product issues led decliners. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 40.89 points, or 0.25 percent, from Friday at 16,123.27, a roughly one-month closing low. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 1.31 points, or 0.10 percent, higher at 1,302.71.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks down after Japan manufacturing data
Apr 02,2016

Asia Pacific share market ended down on first trading session of month, Friday, 1 April 2016, as weaker than expected surveys on Japanese manufacturing sparked heavy fund selling and overshadowed upbeat news from Chinas vast factory sector. A renewed slip in oil prices also added to the cautious mood. The markets participants also quietened down ahead of the release of a stack of US economic data later on Friday.

Among Asian bourses

Nikkei falls to 1-month low

Japan share market ended first trading session of the fiscal 2016-17 to a 1-month low, as appetite for risk assets sapped after the Bank of Japans quarterly corporate survey showed business sentiment among large manufacturers sank to its lowest level in nearly three years. The Nikkei average stumbled 594.51 points, or 3.55%, to finish at 16164.16, its lowest close since March 1. Japans benchmark index ended the week 4.9% lower. The Topix index closed down 42.24 points, or 3.4%, at 1301.40, with each of its 33 subindexes in negative territory. The index ended the week 4.7% lower.

The Tokyo market commenced trading with back footing, with sentiment hurt by the Bank of Japans worse-than-expected tankan quarterly business sentiment survey for March, released just before the opening bell. The survey showed the headline diffusion index for large manufacturers business conditions came to plus 6, down from plus 12 in the previous tankan and marks its first fall in two quarters. The Nikkei average accelerated its downswing and briefly lost more than 600 points in the afternoon due to heightened risk-averse sentiment stemming from the dismal BOJ survey. Investors also found it difficult to buy stocks ahead of the release of U.S. government jobs data for March later on Friday.

Panasonic plummeted 12.13%, a day after revealing that group operating profit for the year to March 2017 is expected to fall 35 billion yen from the previous years estimate to 375 billion yen. Other export-oriented issues were battered due to growing worries about their fiscal 2017 earnings caused by the disparity between the assumed exchange rate in the tankan survey and recent market levels. Among them were automakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan, as well as technologies Sony, Canon and Toshiba.

On the other hand, mobile carriers Softbank Group and KDDI were upbeat, along with gyudon beef-on-rice restaurant operator Matsuya Foods.

Australia Market ends lower

Australian share market ended steep lower, as bank shares face renewed heavy selling on concerns over the lenders exposure to bad debts. The markets participants also quietened down ahead of the release of a stack of US economic data later on Friday. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 dropped 83.40 points, or 1.64%, to 4999.40. The broader All Ordinaries lost 78 points, or 1.51%, to 5073.80.

Shares banks and financials suffered heavy losses as concerns continue to mount over the lenders exposure to bad debts, amid weak resources sector and rising mortgage delinquencies. National Australia Bank was down 2.1% to A$25.68, Commonwealth Bank 2.6% to A$72.99, Westpac 2.3% to A$29.56 and ANZ 2.8% to $22.81.

Shares of materials and resources companies bumped up after Chinas manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in March for the first time in nine months. Chinas purchasing managers index rose to 50.2 in March from 49.0 in February, showing manufacturing activity was expanding. BHP Billiton added 0.7% to A$16.97. Rio Tinto gained 1.1% to A$43.14, while Fortescue Metals rose 0.4% to A$2.56.

The Australian Industry Groups performance of manufacturing index was remain above the 50 level separating expansion from contraction, lifting 4.6 points in March to 58.1. Thats the highest level since April 2004 and the ninth consecutive month of growth.

China Market closes firmer

Mainland China stock market ended firmer on first trading session of the month, Friday, 1 April 2016,, as activity in Chinas factory gauge showed improving conditions for the first time in eight months during, suggesting the governments fiscal and monetary stimulus is kicking in. but market gains were limited due to the impact from Standard & Poors downgrade of Chinas credit outlook. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 3.27 points, or 0.11%, to 3003.92. The CSI 300 Index, measuring exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, added 1.81 points, or 0.06%, to 3218.09.

China released the official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) on Friday morning, which showed activity in Chinas manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in March for the first time in nine months, offering some signs that the economy is improving. The manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 50.2 in March. The measure matches its highest level since November 2014. The non-manufacturing PMI rose to 53.8 from 52.7 in February. A separate, private PMI reading from Caixin Media and Markit Economics rose to 49.7 in March to the highest level since February 2015.

Late on Thursday, rating agency S&P downgraded its outlook for Chinas sovereign credit rating to negative from stable, saying the governments reform agenda is on track but likely to proceed more slowly than expected.

Shares of energy and material companies registered the steepest gains among 10 industry groups. Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co. jumped 8.8%. Wuhan Iron & Steel Co. paced an advance for metal companies, increasing 3.8%. Aluminum Corp. of China added 2.3%.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and PetroChina Co, long considered targets of government buying during down days because of their large index weightings, both erased earlier losses.

Liquor companies led declines among consumer-staples shares, with Kweichow Moutai Co. sliding 1%. East Money Information Co. fell 2.9%.

Hong Kong Stocks down 1.34%

The Hong Kong stock market closed lower, as investors risk sentiments hurt after rating agency Standard & Poors downgraded its outlook for China and Hong Kong. S&P on Thursday cut its outlook for Chinas sovereign credit rating to negative from stable, and also downgraded the outlook for Hong Kong. Shares fell across the board, with the energy sector among the biggest decliners. The benchmark index opened up 9 points at 20,786, which marked the intra-day high. Even though Chinas official and Markit PMIs staged rebound on March, the benchmark saw its losses widen in late trade to 321 points at 20,455. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 277.78 points, or 1.34%, to 20498.92 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, shed 160.39 points, or 1.78%, to 8842.86 points. Turnover reduced to HK$65.3 billion from HK$71 billion on Thursday.

Macau gaming counters were lower as gross gaming revenue for March registered decline of 16%, overshooting market expectations. Melco (00200) plunged 5% to HK$10.26 as its earnings slid 93% to HK$100 million. Sands China (01928) dived 5% to HK$30.1. It was the worst performing blue chip. Galaxy Ent (00027) sagged 3.8% to HK$28.

S&P today revised the outlook to negative from stable on0 Chinese government-related entities following sovereign rating action. China Shenhua (01088) dipped 4% to HK$11.7. CNOOC (00883) fell 3% to HK$8.87. China Mobile (00941) slipped 1% to HK$85.65.

HK retail sales growth has fallen for 12 consecutive months, with February sales plunging 20.6%, way above market expectations of 7.8% decline. Belle (01880) dipped 2% to HK$4.39. Bonjour (00653) dropped 2.6% to HK$0.37. Chow Tai Fook (01929) ebbed 1% to HK$4.82.

Indian indices snap 2-day winning streak

Losses for IT, telecom stocks and index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) outweighed gains for stocks of public sector banks and index heavyweights ITC and HDFC, with the two key benchmark indices registered small losses. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 72.22 points or 0.28% to settle at 25,269.64. The Nifty fell 25.35 points or 0.33% to settle at 7,713.05.

Shares of companies engaged in exploration & production of natural gas extended losses registered during the previous trading session after the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC) attached to the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas announced a reduction in locally produced natural gas price for the six-month period April-September 2016. Cairn India (down 0.71%) and ONGC (down 2.79%), edged lower. Oil India was up 0.93%. The price has been cut by almost 20% to $3.06 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on gross calorific value (GCV) basis for the period 1 April 2016 to 30 September 2016 from $3.82 per mmBtu for the period from 1 October 2015 to 31 March 2016. PPAC made the announcement after trading hours yesterday, 31 March 2016. Shares of ONGC, Oil India and Cairn India edged lower yesterday, 31 March 2016, after media reports suggested that the gas price will be cut by about 20% after the half-yearly price review.

Separately, PPAC set the ceiling price at $6.61 per mmBtu on GCV basis for the gas produced from deepwater, ultra deepwater and high pressure-high temperature areas for the six-month period 1 April 2016 to 30 September 2016. It may be recalled that the government last month finalized proposal to grant marketing, including pricing freedom for the gas produced from deepwater, ultra deepwater and high pressure-high temperature areas in its bid to boost gas exploration and production in the country. The higher pricing for gas produced from deepwater, ultra deepwater and high pressure-high temperature areas is expected to result in estimated additional gas production of around 35 mmscmd. The countrys present gas production is around 90 mmscmd. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries slipped 1.11% to Rs 1,033.65.

Punjab National Bank (PNB) rose 3.66% to Rs 87.80. The bank announced lending rates based on marginal cost of funds to be effective from today, 1 April 2016. PNBs Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) for overnight loans will be 9.15%, for one month will be 9.2% and for three months will be 9.3%. The MCLR on 6-month loans will be 9.35% and for one-year loans the rate would be 9.4%, the bank said. MCLR for three-year loans would be at 9.55% and loans with five-year maturity would carry an MCLR of 9.7%, the bank said. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 31 March 2016.

Bank of India rose 3.61% to Rs 100.55. The bank said that it allotted 46.39 lakh equity shares to General Insurance Corporation of India on preferential basis on 30 March 2016 at Rs 86.22 per share. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 31 March 2016.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 fell 0.7% to 6708.02. Taiwans Taiex index sank 1% to 8657.55. South Koreas KOPSI dropped 1.1% to 1973.57. Malaysias KLCI eased 0.4% to 1710.55. Singapores Straits Times index fell 0.8% to 2818.49. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index eased 0.05% to 4843.19.

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Australia Market ends lower
Apr 01,2016

Australian share market ended steep lower on Friday, 01 April 2016, as bank shares face renewed heavy selling on concerns over the lenders exposure to bad debts. The markets participants also quietened down ahead of the release of a stack of US economic data on Friday. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 dropped 83.40 points, or 1.64%, to 4999.40. The broader All Ordinaries lost 78 points, or 1.51%, to 5073.80.

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Nikkei falls to 1-month low
Apr 01,2016

Japan share market ended first trading session of the fiscal 2016-17 to a 1-month low on Friday, 1 April 2016, as appetite for risk assets sapped after the Bank of Japans quarterly corporate survey showed business sentiment among large manufacturers sank to its lowest level in nearly three years. The Nikkei average stumbled 594.51 points, or 3.55%, to finish at 16164.16, its lowest close since March 1. Japans benchmark index ended the week 4.9% lower. The Topix index closed down 42.24 points, or 3.4%, at 1301.40, with each of its 33 subindexes in negative territory. The index ended the week 4.7% lower.

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Hong Kong Stocks down 1.34%
Apr 01,2016

The Hong Kong stock market closed lower on Friday, 1 April 2016, as investors risk sentiments hurt after rating agency Standard & Poors downgraded its outlook for China and Hong Kong. S&P on Thursday cut its outlook for Chinas sovereign credit rating to negative from stable, and also downgraded the outlook for Hong Kong. Shares fell across the board, with the energy sector among the biggest decliners. The benchmark index opened up 9 points at 20,786, which marked the intra-day high. Even though Chinas official and Markit PMIs staged rebound on March, the benchmark saw its losses widen in late trade to 321 points at 20,455. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 277.78 points, or 1.34%, to 20498.92 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, shed 160.39 points, or 1.78%, to 8842.86 points. Turnover reduced to HK$65.3 billion from HK$71 billion on Thursday.

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Australia Market drifts into the red
Mar 21,2016

Australian share market declined for the first time in four straight sessions on Monday, 21 March 2016, as investors elected to book recent gains, after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recalled parliament and brought the Budget forward, setting the scene for an early election. Most of ASX sectors ended down, with shares of mining and energy companies being major loser, hurt by weaker metals and oil prices. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index declined 16.50 points, or 0.32%, at 5166.60, while the broader All Ordinaries index de-grew 14.40 points, or 0.27%, to 5224.90.

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JAPAN MARKET CLOSED FOR PUBLIC HOLIDAY
Mar 21,2016

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China Market surges on monetary easing
Mar 21,2016

Mainland China stock market closed sharply higher on Monday, 21 March 2016, after authorities loosened controls on brokerages lending money to investors for share buying. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 63.65 points, or 2.15%, to 3018.80, while the Shenzhen Composite Index grew 49.16 points, or 2.68%, to 1886.37. The CSI 300 Index, measuring exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, added 77.48 points, or 2.44%, to 3249.44.

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US stocks end week with strong rally
Mar 21,2016

US stocks rallied on Friday, 18 March 2016 buoyed by an advance in heath-care and financial stocks that helped shares notch a fifth straight week of gains. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials ended in positive territory for the year, while the Dow logged six days of gains in a rown++the longest winning streak since early October.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 120.81 points, or 0.7%, to close at 17,602.30. The S&P 500 gained 8.97 points, or 0.4%, to 2,049.56. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 20.66 points, or 0.4%, at 4,795.65.

Goldman Sachs Group and J.P. Morgan Chase contributed more than 40 points to the blue-chip gauge.

Stocks held on to their gains despite a reversal in oil prices which added to an earlier slump after data from Baker Hughes showed that the weekly number of active U.S. oil rigs edged higher for the first time this year.

The Feds decision on Wednesday to hold rates steady and pencil in fewer rate hikes this year boosted stocks, but it reflected a central bank feeling its way through tremendous uncertainty.

On Friday, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the U.S. central banks inflation and employment goals have essentially been met and it would be n++prudentn++ to raise interest rates.

Meanwhile, a March figure for consumer sentiment fell slightly in March mainly due to the expectation that gasoline prices will rise. Among economic data expected for the day, the preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey showed a dip in consumer sentiment to 90.0 from the final reading of 91.7 for February. The consensus estimate projected a slight increase to 92.2. In February, the expected inflation rate for both periods was 2.5%. In March 2015, however, the expected change in the inflation rate for the next year was 3.0% while the expected change in the inflation rate for the next five years was 2.8%. Concerns about the economy and rising gas prices helped drive a downturn in the Expectations Index to 80.0 from 81.9, although the Current Economic Conditions Index also slipped to 105.6 from 106.8. The report said consumers do not anticipate a recession, yet they no longer expect the economy either to do better than the 2.4% growth rate recorded in the past two years.

Bullion prices settled lower on Friday, 18 March 2016 giving back a portion of the hefty climb seen a day earlier and giving up a gain for the week, as U.S. equities and the dollar strengthened. April gold fell $10.70, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,254.30 an ounce, pulling back after rallying to 2.9% a day earlier. Prices saw a 0.4% weekly loss, their fourth losing week in five. May silver ended at $15.811 an ounce, down 22.2 cents, or 1.4%, following a more than 5% jump on Thursday. For the week, prices logged a gain of 1.3%.

The ICE U.S. dollar index was set to end the week about 1.2% lower, but was edging up in Friday action. U.S. stocks gained, with some indexes now positive for the year.

Crude oil futures settled with a loss on Friday, 18 March 2016 pressured by the first weekly increase in the number of active U.S. oil-drilling rigs, but prices still logged a fifth weekly advance in a row.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures for April delivery fell 76 cents, or 1.9%, to settle at $39.44 a barrel after topping $41 during the session. For the week, prices for the most-active contracts gained roughly 6.9% but the April contract itself, which expires at Mondays settlement, tacked on about 2.4%.

The Treasury complex traversed a narrow range today as the yield on the 10-yr note fluctuated between 1.87% and 1.89% before ending at the bottom of that range.

Todays participation was well above the recent average as options expiration boosted the number of shares traded on the NYSE floor to more than 2.147 billion.

Mondays economic calendar will also be light with Existing Home Sales for February (consensus 5.37 million) set to cross the wires at 10:00 ET.

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Nikkei extends fall on yen ascent
Mar 18,2016

Japan share market ended down for fourth consecutive session on Friday, 18 March 2016, as yen ascent against the dollar was seen hurting the countrys exporters earnings outlook. The US dollar extended its broad slide triggered by Wednesdays Fed statement showing the US central bank would raise rates at a slower pace than its previous forecast. The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 211.57 points, or 1.25%, to end at 16724.81. The Topix index of all first-section issues dropped 13.92 points, or 1.02%, to 1345.05.

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Nikkei falls on yen ascent
Mar 17,2016

Japan share market ended down for third consecutive session on Thursday, 17 March 2016, as risk sentiments weighed down by yen ascent against the dollar after the Federal Reserve signalled a slower pace of interest-rate increases amid the potential impact from weaker global growth and financial-market turmoil. The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 38.07 points, or 0.22%, to end at 16936.38. The Topix index of all first-section issues dropped 1.53 points, or 0.11%, to 1358.97. Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 915 to 872 in the TSEs first section, while 157 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 2,207 million shares from Wednesdays 1,861 million shares.

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