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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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China Market extends gain
Mar 17,2016

Mainland China stock market ended stronger after swinging between negative and positive territory on Thursday, 17 March 2016, on the back of bargain hunting in technology and media stocks after U.S. Federal Reserve officials scaled back their forecasts for interest-rate increases. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.21%, or 6.06 points, to 2870.43, while the Shenzhen index ended 3.41% higher at 9,791.85 points. The CSI 300 Index, measuring exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, added 15.29 points, or 0.5%, to 3090.03. The ChiNext Index, which tracks Chinas NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, soared 5.55% to close at 2,087.29 points, reversing consecutive falls in the past two sessions.

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Hong Kong Stocks surges on more dovish Fed
Mar 17,2016

The Hong Kong stock market advanced on Thursday, 17 March 2016, lifted primarily by information technology and machinery stocks and also supported by global equity gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve reduced the number of interest rate hikes expected this year. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 246.11 points, or 1.21%, to 20503.81 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, gained 202.47 points, or 2.36%, to 8773.836 points. Turnover increased to HK$70.7 billion from HK$58.7 billion on Wednesday.

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US stocks rally as Fed keeps rates unchanged
Mar 17,2016

U.S. stocks advanced on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 with the S&P 500 and Dow reaching 2016 highs, after the Federal Reserve kept its key interest rates unchanged and downgraded its forecast for the number of rate increases to two in 2016 from an earlier projection of four. The main indexes gyrated after the initial announcement, paring gains and then rallying, as Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen discussed the Federal Open Market Committees decision during the news conference.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 74.23 points, or 0.4%, to 17,325.76. Nasdaq Composite tacked on 35.30 points, or 0.8%, to 4,763.97. The S&P 500 advanced 11.29 points, or 0.6%, to 2,027.22, marking a fresh 2016 closing high.

Gains were led by materials and energy shares, as oil futures climbed on renewed hope for an output freeze. Eight of ten sectors ended the day in positive territory. On the flipside, the heavyweight financial and health care sectors ended in the red. The Dpw gainers were led by Caterpillar.

In the early afternoon, the latest directive from the FOMC provided enough dovish undertones. The FOMC voted 9-1 to leave its benchmark interest rates unchanged. Furthermore, the Fed lowered its target rate projection for 2016 to 0.875% from 1.40% and cut the 2017 outlook from 2.40% to 1.90%. This was essentially in-line with the projections in the fed funds futures market.

During the news conference, Yellen said the global economy is running a bit below expectations and acknowledged softness in exports and business investments, but noted that the global slowdown hasnt affected the Feds baseline case for the U.S. economy. On inflation, Yellen said the lack of convincing evidence of a pickup in wage growth suggests continued slack in the labor market, but that inflation is gradually expected to move back to 2% over timen++a level the central bank considers optimal for a healthy economy.

However, the Fed cut its estimate for its preferred measure of inflationn++the core personal consumption expenditures to 1.2% down from a prior forecast of 1.6%.

Among stocks under focus, Oracle Corp. gained 3.8% after the software giant posted better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit late Tuesday. It also said it was adding $10 billion to its existing stock-buyback plan.

Bullion prices scored strong gains on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 at Comex. prices rose in afternoon trading on Wednesday, in the wake of a dovishly perceived FOMC statement that was released at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Gold prices were trading near steady just before the FOMC statement, but then rallied moderately in the immediate aftermath of the statement. April gold was last up $29.20 an ounce or 2.4% at $1,260.30. May silver was up 2.4% at $15.63/oz in electronic trade.

The U.S. dollar index was trading modestly higher just before the FOMC statement was released, but has sold off sharply in afternoon trading, which has given the gold market a further boost.

The Treasury complex slipped to session lows shortly after receiving the hotter-than-expected core CPI data and floated there until the FOMCc policy statement was released.Treasuries rallied to new session highs following the policy statement, sending the 10-yr yield lower by six basis points to 1.91%.

The U.S. Dollar Index plunged as the greenback surrendered gains against both the yen and euro. The dollar/yen finished lower by 0.5% at 112.57 while the euro/dollar pair rose to 1.1225 (+1.1%).

Among the days data, core-consumer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy, rose last month and are up 2.3% over the past 12 month. Meanwhile, construction on new houses rose in February to a five-month high, led by the biggest increase in single-family units in nine years. Industrial production decreased 0.5% in February, after hopeful signs of stabilization in January.

Crude Oil futures ended sharply higher on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 at Nymex boosted by a smaller-than-expected weekly climb in U.S. crude stockpiles.Plans for a meeting of major oil producers next month to discuss limiting output and a dovish Federal Reserve statement, which pressured the U.S. dollar, added to gains for crude futures. Hefty declines in gasoline inventories in recent weeks, along with strong demand for the fuel, had helped to boost the demand prospects for crude oil, which is used to make gasoline.

April West Texas Intermediate crude rose $2.12, or 5.8%, to end at $38.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude climbed by $1.59, or 4.1%, to finish at $40.33 a barrel on Londons ICE Futures exchange.

Earlier Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a 1.3 million-barrel rise in crude-oil supplies for the week ended 11 March 2015. That marked a fifth weekly climb in a row, but it was less than the 1.5 million-barrel increase reported by the American Petroleum Institute, and below the rise of 2.7 million barrels expected by market. Gasoline supplies edged down by 700,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell 1.1 million barrels last week. Market had expected for a drop of 3.1 million for gasoline and fall of 1 million for distillates, which include heating oil.

EIA data also showed a weekly fall in total U.S. production of 10,000 barrels a day to 9.068 million barrels a day. Output had peaked at 9.7 million last April.

Oil prices had rallied in recent weeks on hopes that producers would agree to at least freeze output levels, helping to alleviate the global glut of crude. But Iran has said it was unwilling to participate in any such plan until it ramps up production to pre-sanction levels.

Todays trading volume fell beneath the recent average as fewer than 913 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows data will include weekly initial claims (consensus 266k), March Philadelphia Fed Survey (consensus -1.4), and Q4 Current Account Balance (consensus -$116.0 Billion) each crossing the wires at 8:30 ET. Meanwhile Februarys Leading Indicators (consensus 0.2%) will be reported at 10:00 ET.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mixed with investor eyes on Federal Reserve meeting
Mar 16,2016

Asia Pacific share market finished mixed on Wednesday, 16 March 2016, as market sentiment muted on following a drop in Wall Street overnight, weaker commodities prices, and on caution ahead of the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reserves two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Market participants opted for a wait-and-see mood before the results of the U.S. Federal Reserves two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting come out later on Wednesday. Most analysts believe that the Fed will put off an interest rate hike at the latest meeting in view of the recent lackluster economic situation in the United States. Investors are paying close attention to (Fed Chair Janet) Yellens news conference and the FOMC statement. They want to know the pace of expected interest rate hikes.

The gathering comes as central banks remain at the centre of market attention after the European Central Bank last week unveiled a range of aggressive stimulus measures.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Market closes in positive territory

Australian share market managed to finish in positive territory, despite mixed leads from Wall Street overnight and weaker commodity prices. But gains were limited, as investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of the US Federal Reserves rates decision. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index advanced 7.60 points, or 0.15%, at 5119, while the broader All Ordinaries index grew 7.10 points, or 0.14%, to 5175.70.

Material and resources stocks were down, hurt by fall in iron ore prices. Iron ore dropped for a sixth day, erasing gains from a record spike last week, as data showed Chinese steel production weakened further at a time when supplies from the biggest miners are set to increase. Iron ore fell 4.8% to $US52.88 a tonne overnight. Mining giant BHP Billiton fell 1.5% to A$16.88, Rio Tinto 0.7% to A$42.69, and Fortescue Metals Group 4.3% to A$2.43.

Telstra lifted 0.2% to $5.30 after chief executive Andy Penn announced the hiring of Stephen Elop, former chief executive of handset maker Nokia, and Kevin Russell, the former head of rival domestic carrier Optus.

Nikkei falls on yen ascent, Fed policy decision

Japan share market ended in negative terrain in cautious trade, as risk sentiments hurt by weak lead from Wall Street overnight, yens ascent against greenback, and on caution ahead of the US central banks interest rate call. Notable decliners comprised banking, iron and steel, and security-linked shares. The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 142.62 points, or 0.83%, to end at 16974.45. The Topix index of all first-section issues dropped 11.58 points, or 0.84%, to 1360.50.

Carmakers and machinery manufacturers were among the biggest drags on the Topix, with Honda Motor Co. falling 2.2%.

Banks fell the most among the 33 Topix industry groups, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group sinking 3.6%.

Okuma Corp. slid 3.3% after Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded its rating on the industrial-machinery producer to neutral from outperform.

Food-related stocks were the biggest boost to the Topix. Kobe Bussan Co. surged 11% after the supermarket operator announced its first-quarter operating profits rose 49% against the previous year.

Sony Corp. rose 3.2% after unveiling a virtual-reality headset priced significantly below rival devices.

Sharp Corp. sank 12% after people familiar with the matter said Foxconn Technology Group is delaying finalization of its deal with Sharp.

China Market extends gain after upbeat comments by the premier

Mainland China stock market managed to close higher, helped by comments from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who told at his annual news conference in Beijing that China would employ innovative means to support the economy if growth drops out of its normal range. Premier Li said the government would promote market-oriented reforms in the countrys financial markets and improve coordination in financial regulation as it pursues a goal of 6.5 per cent average expansion over the next five years. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.21%, or 6.06 points, to 2870.43. The CSI 300 Index, measuring exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, added 15.29 points, or 0.5%, to 3090.03.

The countrys annual meeting of parliament ended much as it began, with a stream of assurances by Premier Li Keqiang that the economy was facing difficulties but not in danger of a hard landing. In a news conference at the end of the meeting, Li said that while downward pressure on the economy persists, there would be no sharp deterioration in activity as long as the government presses ahead with reforms.

Finance shares led indexes higher, with major gainers including Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co and China Minsheng Banking Co. ICBC, the largest lender, advanced 1.4%. Ping An rose 2.5% after its net income increased 38% in 2015.

Consumer-staple shares fell with Kweichow Moutai Co., the biggest maker of baijiu liquor, slump 1.4%.

Hong Kong Stocks extends fall

The Hong Kong stock market extended losses, as investors remained skittish ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserves two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting later in the day. The benchmark Hang Seng Index declined 31.07 points, or 0.15%, to 20257.70 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, dropped 34.27 points, or 0.4%, to 8571.36 points. Turnover increased slightly to HK$58.7 billion from HK$56.5 billion on Tuesday.

Shares of insurers were mixed after Credit rating agency Moodys changed the outlook for the Chinese life insurance industry to negative from stable. China Taiping (00966) dipped 1% to HK$15.64. PICC P&C (02328) softened 1% to HK$13.3. Ping An (02318) added 1% to HK$35.3 after the insurer reported 2015 earnings growth of 38% to RMB54.2 billion.

Property counters were firmer ahead of the release of Feds meeting decision. New World Development (00017) and Hang Lung Properties (00101) put on 1% to HK$7.45 and HK$14.76. Henderson Land (00012) nudged up 0.9% to HK$46.8.

Sensex clocks modest gains

Gains in index heavyweights Infosys and ITC, a strong intraday rebound in another index heavyweight HDFC and recovery in banking and pharma stocks aided a strong intraday rebound for key benchmark indices. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 131.31 points or 0.53% to settle at 24,682.48. The Nifty rose 38.15 points or 0.51% to settle at 7,498.75.

Asian Paints edged lower on reports that a foreign brokerage has downgraded the stock to neutral from buy, citing expensive valuation. The stock dropped 2.17% to Rs 866.85. The brokerage reckons that there is not much earnings visibility for the company once crude oil price stabilises. The brokerage has reportedly trimmed its revenue growth forecast for the company. The brokerage expects improvement in the companys EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization) margin from FY 2016. It, however, does not expect a significant expansion in profit margins.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 fell 0.2% to 6562.96. Taiwans Taiex index added 1% to 8699.14. South Koreas KOPSI rose 0.3% to 1974.90. Malaysias KLCI rose 0.2% to 1693.43. Singapores Straits Times index rose 0.2% at 2844.21. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index climbed 0.2% to 4861.44.

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Australia Market closes in positive territory
Mar 16,2016

Australian share market managed to finish in positive territory on Wednesday, 16 March 2016, despite mixed leads from Wall Street overnight and weaker commodity prices. But gains were limited, as investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of the US Federal Reserves rates decision. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index advanced 7.60 points, or 0.15%, at 5119, while the broader All Ordinaries index grew 7.10 points, or 0.14%, to 5175.70.

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Nikkei falls on yen ascent, Fed policy decision
Mar 16,2016

Japan share market ended in negative terrain in cautious trade on Wednesday, 16 March 2016, as risk sentiments hurt by weak lead from Wall Street overnight, yens ascent against greenback, and on caution ahead of the US central banks interest rate call. Notable decliners comprised banking, iron and steel, and security-linked shares. The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 142.62 points, or 0.83%, to end at 16974.45. The Topix index of all first-section issues dropped 11.58 points, or 0.84%, to 1360.50.

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