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Australia Stocks fall, weigh by top lenders
May 12,2017

Australian equity market ended lower on Friday, 12 May 2017, as sentiment was weighed on by a slide in global markets overnight. Most of the ASX sector declined, with consumer discretionary, technology, healthcare, industrials, energy, realty and financials issues being notable losers, while strong gains in the gold and copper prices helped materials sector to close in green. The S&P/ASX 200 finished down 41.40 points, or 0.7%, at 5836.90. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 637 to 415 and 389 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 2.14% to 11.977.

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Japan: Stocks falls on profit booking
May 12,2017

The Japan share market finished session lower on Friday, 12 May 2017, as investors elected to cash profits after the benchmark hits 17-month high yesterday. Meanwhile, the yens appreciation against the U.S. dollar and Wall Streets overnight decline also fuelled profit booking. However, losses were limited as investors focused on a slew of corporate earnings such as from automaker Nissan on a surprise hike in dividend. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 77.65 points, or 0.39%, to close the day at 19,883.90. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, dropped 6.15 points, or 0.39%, to end at 1,580.71. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 2.3% for the week. Trading volume on the main section on Friday came to 2,248.62 million shares, rising from Thursdays volume of 2,292.02 million shares. The turnover on the final trading day of the week totaled 2,964.5 billion yen.

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China Stocks up ahead of Beijing summit
May 12,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed higher on Friday, 12 May 2017, as risk sentiments got boosted by central banks move to inject funds into the market. Investors also get encouraged by the news that Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is going to be held this weekend. Shares of banking, insurance companies and those related to the Xiongan New Area were among the biggest gainers today. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.72%, or 22.01 points, to 3,083.51 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, edged 0.06%, or 1.05 points, up to 1,820.20. Over the past week, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.63%.

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Hong Kong Stocks gain for fifth day
May 12,2017

The Hong Kong stock market finished the week with a fifth successive gain on Friday, 12 May 2017, as investor sentiment lifted by tracking strength in Mainland bourses and continuous inflows from mainland China. Sector performance was mixed, with materials and utility shares falling, while IT stocks firmed. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.12 per cent, or 30.79 points, to 25,156.34 - its highest finish since the end of July 2015. The China Enterprises Index gained 0.2 percent, to 10,282.65 points. For the week, the Hang Seng gained 2.8 percent, while HSCE rose 2.6 percent. Turnover decreased to HK$75.1 billion from HK$81.6 billion on Thursday.

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Hong Kong Stocks gain for third day
May 10,2017

The Hong Kong stock market rose for the third straight session on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, as investor sentiment lifted by strength in many Asian markets as investors focused on strong corporate earnings, as well as signs that money was continuing to flow in from mainland China. On Wednesday, Chinese investors used up roughly 30 percent of the daily quota buying Hong Kong stocks under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme. The Hang Seng Index inclined 126.39 points, or 0.51%, to 25015.42. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was up 98.43 points, or 0.97%, to 10227.42. Turnover increased to HK$93.6 billion from HK$71 billion on Tuesday.

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China Stocks fall 0.9%
May 10,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed down on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, as risk aversion selloff triggered after soft data showing the countrys April producer price inflation cooled more than expected. Sector performance was mixed, with financials and telecom stocks rising while resource shares lost ground. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.9% to 3052.78 at the close.

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Japan Stocks rebound to fresh 17-month high
May 10,2017

The Japan share market finished session at fresh 17-month high on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, with export-oriented issues such as electronics, iron and steel, nonferrous metal and machinery makers attracted purchase on the back of yen depreciation to 114-yen level against greenback. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 57.09 points, or 0.29 percent, to end at 19,900.09, marking its highest finish since Dec. 3, 2015. The Topix index of all first-section issues closed up 3.42 points, or 0.22 percent, at 1,585.19.

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Australia Stocks rise on bargain hunting
May 10,2017

Australian equity market ended higher after recouping early weakness on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, thanks to bargain hunting in mid-cap lenders as prospect of a new tax on big banks eased. Meanwhile, strength in materials and resources also supported the market recovery. The S&P/ASX 200 finished up 35.50 points, or 0.61%, at 5875.40.

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US stocks end in a mixed note
May 10,2017

US stocks closed near session lows on Tuesday, 09 May 2017 as the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 finished lower and the tech-heavy Nasdaq carved out a new record while investors sifted through mostly upbeat earnings reports against a backdrop of falling oil prices and remarks from Federal Reserve speakers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 36.50 points, or 0.2%, at 20,975.78, about 140 points below its record close from early March. The S&P 500 index closed down 2.46 points, or 0.1%, at 2,396.92 with seven of the 11 main sectors finishing lower, as utilities, energy and materials stocks led decliners, offsetting gains in the consumer discretionary and industrial sectors. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 17.93 points, or 0.3%, to close at a record 6,120.59.

Shares of Chevron and Cisco Systems were the largest decliners on the average.

This weeks listless trading sessions follow the widely expected victory Sunday by independent centrist Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election, an outcome that investors appeared to have largely factored in over the previous two weeks.

The Federal Reserve meeting in June is one of the events traders are waiting for to potentially steer the market higher. On Tuesday, several Fed speakers will be closely watched for any hints about the coming policy decision.

As measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index, the dollar was up 0.5% at 99.592. A stronger buck makes commodities priced in the currency, like gold, less attractive to buyers using weaker monetary units.

Investors have been increasingly pricing in a U.S. rate increase next month, with fed-funds futures recently showing that markets are pricing in an 88% chance of a rate increase at the Feds mid-June meeting.

On the data front, investors received March JOLTS and March Wholesale Inventories data. The March Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that job openings increased to 5.743 million from a revised 5.682 million (from 5.743 million) in February.March Wholesale Inventories increased 0.2% (consensus -0.1%). The prior months reading was revised to 0.3% from 0.4%.The market doesnt typically pay much attention to this release since the full business inventories report is usually released a short time later.

The March Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that job openings increased to 5.743 million from a revised 5.682 million (from 5.743 million) in February. March Wholesale Inventories increased 0.2% (consensus -0.1%). The prior months reading was revised to 0.3% from 0.4%. The market doesnt typically pay much attention to this release since the full business inventories report is usually released a short time later.

Bullion prices ended lower at Comex on tuesday, 09 May 2017. Gold futures dropped on Tuesday to their lowest settlement since mid-March, as strength in the dollar and growing expectations for a U.S. interest-rate hike next month dulled demand for the metal.

June gold fell $11, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,216.10 an ounce, after settling with a meager gain on Monday. The settlement was the lowest in about eight weeks. July silver lost 19.1 cents, or 1.2%, to $16.067 an ouncen++its lowest settlement of the year.

Oil prices closed lower on Tuesday, 09 May 2017 as traders fretted over rising U.S. crude production as OPEC weighs extend its production-cut agreement late this month.

July Brent crude lost 61 cents, or 1.2%, to $48.73 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, June West Texas Intermediate crude fell by 55 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $45.88 a barrel, after briefly trading as high as $46.78.

In a monthly report Tuesday, the U.S. government raised its forecast on domestic crude output for this year and next, and cut its 2017 price outlook. Last week, prices for WTI and Brent marked their lowest settlements since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on Nov. 30 to cut output for six months at the start of this year.

In the bond market, Treasuries settled slightly lower across the board with the benchmark 10-yr yield (2.41%) adding two basis points.

Tomorrow, investors will receive a batch of economic reports, including the MBA Mortgage Applications Index at 7:00 ET, April Import/Export Prices at 8:30 ET, and the April Treasury Budget at 14:00 ET.

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Japan Stocks eke out gain
May 09,2017

The Japan share market finished a seesaw session in positive territory on Tuesday, 16 May 2017, following record closes on US and European markets and a rally in oil prices. The Nikkei 225 index gained 0.25%, or 49.97 points, to finish at 19,919.82, while the Topix index of all first-section issues ticked 0.27%, or 4.23 points, higher to 1,584.23.

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Japan Stocks end at 17-month high after Macron win
May 08,2017

The Japan share market finished sharply higher on Monday, 08 May 2017, as investor risk confidence build-up after pro-European Union candidate Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election. Every industry category on the main section gained ground, led by mining, air transportation, and insurance issues. Tokyos benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 2.31 per cent, or 450.00 points, to finish at 19,895.70, its highest since December 2015. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 2.29 per cent, or 35.56 points, to 1,585.86. The market was closed for three days from Wednesday to Friday for national holidays.

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Australia Stocks rise, snapping four-session retreat
May 08,2017

Australian equity market ended higher for first time in five consecutive sessions on Monday, 08 may 2017, helped by tracking a strong gain on Wall Street last Friday, with shares of the banks, mining and energy companies being major gainers. The S&P/ASX 200 finished up 34.3 points, or 0.6%, at 5870.9. The index dropped 1.5% over the course of last week.

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China Stocks fall as regulatory fears deepen
May 08,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed down on Monday, 08 May 2017, registering fifth straight falling streak, as investor fears over tightening regulations deepened, cancelling out the impact of still-solid growth in the countrys exports. Sectors fell across the board, led by infrastructure, and real estate stocks. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 24.43 points, or 0.79 percent, to 3,078.61. The Index has lost 2.41 percent over the last five trading days.

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Mixed finish or US stocks
May 02,2017

US stock market opened the week on a positive note on Monday, 01 May 2017 with the top-weighted technology and financials sectors pacing the advance. Investors received several headlines from the nations capital on Monday. The first was news of an agreement between congressional leaders that, if approved, will keep the government funded through September. The deal, which puts fears of a government shutdown on hold, sent the S&P 500 into positive territory at the opening bell.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average which dipped in and out of negative territory, finished down 27.05 points, or 0.1%, at 20,913.46. The S&P 500 index closed up 4.13 points, or 0.2%, at 2,388.33. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished up 44 points, or 0.7%, to a record 6,091.60, after touching an all-time intraday high of 6,100.73.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at a record Monday, with shares of Apple hitting a new high, while the Dow industrials slipped lower as investors digested a raft of economic reports and looked ahead to the start of the Federal Reserves policy meeting on Tuesday.

Only five of the 11 main sectors finishing higher. Tech shares led the charge, finishing up 0.9%, followed by a 0.6% gain in real-estate stocks. Telecoms were the largest decliners, down 0.8%, while utilities shed 0.7%.

However, the next headline, which was a statement from President Trump, resulted in a small sell-off in the early-afternoon session. Mr. Trump said that he may favor breaking up the nations biggest banks, which briefly sent the financial sector lower. However, stocks recovered shortly thereafter as the headline provided little new information; President Trump has mentioned reinstating Glass-Steagall prior to todays announcement.

Dow was pressured by a 1.3% decline in Boeing and a 1.2% decline in shares of Home Depot . Apple shares closed up 2.1% at a record $146.60 after reaching an intraday record of $147.20. The stock is a major component in the three major U.S. stock indexes. The company reports quarterly results Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier, the blue-chip benchmark briefly slipped into negative territory following comments by President Donald Trump that he was looking at breaking up big banks, with a retreat in financials contributing to much of that dip. Over the weekend, Congress cut a deal to fund the government through Sept. 30, which includes an increase in military spending.

The Atlanta Fed tracker of GDP points to a strong rebound for the second quarter after the slowest quarter in three years. The GDPN ow model forecasts 4.3% growth. That would be the strongest growth since the third quarter of 2014. Strong economic growth can make the Federal Reserve tighten monetary policy and increase the fed-funds rate. Higher rates can boost the dollar and make gold less competitive against interest-bearing investments.

Among other economic data on Monday, the personal-consumption-expenditures, or PCE index, fell 0.2% in March to mark the first decline in more than a year. U.S. manufacturing growth cooled off a bit in April, with the ISM manufacturing index slipping to 54.8% from 57.2%.

Other U.S. reports this week include a policy statement from the Fed on Wednesday that could influence assumptions about the path for interest rates and metals which dont offer a yield.

Investors will be looking at important labor-market report, with April jobs due Friday. Market is forecasting that 190,000 jobs were created in April, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.5%.

On Monday, the dollar, one of the biggest drivers of dollar-pegged commodities, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was trading nearly flat at 99.07.

Crude oil prices logged their lowest finish in about five weeks Monday, 01 May 2017 on concerns that rising U.S. crude output would offset efforts by OPEC and other large crude producers to cap a nagging global oil glut. The price drop extends a downbeat tone in crude trade into May after futures contracts registered a second straight monthly decline.

June West Texas Intermediate crude fell 49 cents, or 1%, to settle at $48.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. WTI prices lost about 2.5% in April. July Brent on Londons ICE Futures exchange declined by 53 cents, or 1%, to $51.52 a barrel.

Bullion metals ended sharply lower at Comex on Monday, 01 May 2017. Gold futures settled sharply lower with the yellow metal booking its lowest finish in three weeks, following U.S. data implying a strong rebound in second-quarter economic growth.

June gold dropped $12.80, or 1%, to settle at $1,255.50 an ouncen++the lowest for most-active contract since 10 April 2017. The yellow metal rose over the past two sessions, but saw a weekly loss of 1.6%, as geopolitical risks, particularly in Europe, appear to have cooled somewhat, undercutting haven demand for commodities like gold that thrive in uncertainty. Silver for July delivery declined 42 cents, or 2.4%, to $16.842 an ouncen++the lowest since mid-January.

In the bond market, Treasuries settled lower across the board, however, selling pressure was not distributed equally across the yield curve. The 10-yr yield finished four basis points higher while the 2-yr yield added only two basis points.

Todays trading volume was relatively light. Market were closed across Europe and most of Asia in observance of Labor Day. 874.2 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Tomorrow, investors will not receive any economic reports, but April auto and truck sales will be released throughout the day.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks end mixed
Apr 27,2017

Asia Pacific share market closed mixed on Thursday, 27 April 2017, as investors assessed the scant details of President Donald Trumps U.S. tax overhaul, though sentiment remains supported by global growth prospects, raft of earnings data and receding worries about political risks in Europe. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 149.31 as of 4:49 p.m. in Hong Kong, after rising 2.6% over the previous five sessions to the highest level since June 2015.

U.S. President Donald Trumps tax plan was presented at a White House briefing on Wednesday as a one-page list of bullet points amounting to fewer than 250 words, while leaving out many of the details. Officials said they hoped to slash corporate taxes to 15% from 35% for public corporations and 39.6% for small businesses, and on overseas corporate profits returned to the country. But the one-page plan offered no specifics on how it would be paid for without increasing the deficit.

The Bank of Japan at its Monetary Policy Board outcome on Thursday kept its monetary stimulus unchanged as widely expected on Thursday. The Board decided by an 7-2 majority vote to hold its target of raising the amount of outstanding JGB holdings at an annual pace of about JPY 80 trillion. The bank will purchase government bonds so that the yield of 10-year JGBs will remain at around zero percent. The board also decided to maintain the -0.1% interest rate on current accounts that financial institutions maintain at the bank. Annual inflation is likely to continue on an uptrend and increase toward 2%, mainly on the back of an improvement in the output gap and a rise in medium-to long-term inflation expectations.

The ECB is scheduled to hold a policy meeting on Thursday, with the focus on the potential for a scaling back of monetary stimulus in the months ahead. While no changes are expected, policymakers see scope for sending a small signal in June towards reducing monetary stimulus, according to sources, another factor underpinning the single currency.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Shares end higher

Australian equity market ended slight higher today, as gains in industrial, healthcare, financial and property trusts issues were more than offset by losses in energy, materials, and consumer goods stocks. The S&P/ASX200 closed 9.50 points, or 0.16%, up at 5921.50, while the All Ordinaries tracked closely behind, up 7.60 points, or 0.13%, to 5944.40. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 566 to 558 and 371 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 6.41% to 11.682.

Financials bolstered the Australian market, with the financial index hitting a fresh 23-month high, led by the Big Four banks ahead of earnings next week. Banks stocks outperforming other sectors on hopes of turning point in banks net interest margins and they should turn profitable going ahead.

The biggest drag on the index came from energy stocks - oil majors slipped on lower prices, while stocks such as Santos and Origin Energy, which have some LNG assets, fell after the Aussie government proposed to restrict exports of liquefied natural gas during times when domestic shortage (due to high exports) pushes up local LNG prices.

Diversified mining company BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals slipped after the most-active iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange slipped 1.2%. Lower London copper and oil prices also pressured BHP Billitons shares.

Gold stocks also rose after prices of the yellow metal edged away from two-week lows hit in the previous session. Ramelius Resources, Resolute Mining and Northern Star Resources rose as much as between 3% and 12%.

Japan Stocks fall on profit booking

The Japan share market finished down, as investors locked in profits following the markets four days run of closing highs. Selloff was also fuelled in response to yen appreciation against greenback after BoJ stands pat on policy and as the Trump administrations plans to overhaul the US tax system. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 37.56 points, or 0.19%, to close the day at 19,251.87. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, fell 0.74 point, or 0.05%, to finish at 1,536.67. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1943 to 1099 and 308 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 3.40% to 15.04 a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Tokuyama Corp, which rose 8% to trade at Y541 at the close. Meanwhile, Showa Denko K.K added 4.4% to end at Y2160 and Furukawa Electric Co was up 4.2% to Y4510.The worst performers of the session were Yahoo Japan Corp, which fell 9.8% to trade at Y474.5 at the close. Rakuten Inc declined 4.4% to end at Y1139 and Osaka Gas Co was down 4.1% to Y416.

Shares in Japans Takata suspended after report on bankruptcy plan-- Trading in Takata Corp shares was suspended on Thursday after a report that the Japanese airbag maker at the heart of the car industrys biggest-ever recall is considering a bankruptcy plan that will create a new company and ringfence its liabilities. The Nikkei business daily reported Chinese-owned car parts maker Key Safety Systems (KSS), the companys preferred bidder, would sponsor the turnaround plan by injecting 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) and helping create a new operating company. That money would be transferred to Takata to help settle claims linked to faulty air bags that have been blamed for at least 16 deaths worldwide. In a statement, Takata acknowledged that its steering committee had endorsed KSS as a sponsor candidate, but said it had not reached any decision on its restructuring.

Nintendo sees Switch console doubling full-year profit- Japans Nintendo Co said on Thursday it expects operating profit to jump 121% in the year through March 2018, bolstered by strong demand for its new Switch console. Nintendo estimates profit to grow to 65 billion yen ($583.85 million) from 29.4 billion yen a year prior. Kyoto-based Nintendo is aiming to sell 10 million Switch consoles in the current financial year, on top of 2.7 million units sold in March alone, the month of its global debut.

Stronger yen digs into Komatsus earnings-- Komatsu, the worlds second-largest construction and mining machinery maker, saw its annual earnings slide as a stronger yen erased gains from increasing demand in China and Indonesia. The 95-year-old company saw its revenue for the year ended March 31 fall 2.8% from the previous year to 1.80 trillion yen ($16.20 billion). Net profit was also down 17.5% to 113.4 billion yen in the April-March period compared to the year before.

The Bank of Japan on Thursday upgraded its outlook for the domestic economy, encouraged by strong exports. While it decided not to tweak monetary policy, the bank slightly lowered its inflation forecast. The BOJ now expects real gross domestic product growth for the current fiscal year through March 2018 to reach 1.6%, up from its previous forecast of 1.5%. For fiscal 2018 -- the year ending in March 2019 -- the bank forecasts 1.3% growth, up from 1.1%.

The central bank forecast growth in the worlds third-largest economy would remain steady over the next year as it keeps its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged. The Bank of Japan said preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would support growth by spurring demand but warned of risks from geopolitical trends.

China Stocks end higher

The Mainland China equity market reversed early losses to end higher, lifted by strong performance of shares related to the Belt and Road Initiative. But gains were capped amid concern Chinese authorities would continue to pursue policies aimed at reining in financial risks by preventing excessive speculation in the equity and real estate markets. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.36%, or 11.34 points, at 3,152.19 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, rose 0.36%, or 10.24 points, to 1,900.03. The ChiNext Index, Chinas NASDAQ-style board, ended 1.23% higher at 1,842.92 points.

The Shanghai index tumbled to below 3,100 points in the morning before strong shares related to the Belt and Road and environmental protection boosted the market. Jiangsu Lianyungang Port and Guangzhou Port both surged by the daily limit of 10% to end the day at 7.67 yuan and 10.3 yuan per share, respectively.

Chinas major industrial firms continued to post double-digit growth in March, adding to signs of a stabilizing Chinese economy, official data showed Thursday. The companies reported a 23.8-percent year-on-year profit growth last month, slowing from 31.5% in January and February but still much faster than the 8.5-percent increase in 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Thursday showed that the combined profits of Chinese industrial firms stood at CNY688.7 billion in March, up 23.8% from the same month last year. The gain for industrial profits was 7.7 percentage points lower than that in the January-to-February period, but it was 12.7 percentage points higher than the gain in March 2016. Data for January and February were combined to smooth out the distortion from the Chinese New Year holiday. The NBS attributed the slowdown to a faster rise in input prices than output prices. The index of input prices stood at 110.0, 0.9 percentage point higher than in January and February, while the index of output prices was 107.6, up 0.3 percentage point. The profits of five key sectors rose to CNY75.2 billion, a decline of CNY95 billion from January and February, contributing to a fall of 8.5 percentage points from industrial output as a whole in March. The five sectors are coal mining and processing; petroleum and natural gas exploitation; oil processing and nuclear fuel processing; chemical raw materials and chemical products manufacturing; and ferrous metal smelting and processing. For the first quarter, combined profits of industrial companies were CNY1.704 trillion, up 28.3% from the same quarter last year, the NBS said. Thirty-eight of 41 industrial sectors posted year-on-year profit increases in the first quarter, compared with thirty-one during the same period last year.

Hong Kong Stocks rebound

The Hong Kong stock market reversed early losses to chalk up to highest level in 20 months today, as investor sentiment remained supported by the US announcement it would renegotiate the NAFTA deal, soothing fears after reports said Donald Trump was considering leaving it. The market also drew support from continuous flows of money from mainland Chinese investors. The Hang Seng Index inclined 120.05 points, or 0.49%, to 24698.48. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was down 56.38 points, or 0.55%, to 10261.25. Turnover decreased slightly to HK$76.3 billion from HK$78.6 billion on Wednesday.

Tencent climbed 1.2% to HK$244.6 on reports it has initiated an IPO works for its music business, with a valuation of US$10 billion. Meitu (01357) gained 5.7% to HK$11.5.

Standard Chartered (02888) put on 4.8% to HK$75.45 after the bank said its profit before taxation for 1Q soared 98% to US$990 million. China Minsheng Bank (01988) declined 1.5% to HK$7.76. The bank reported that its net profit for the first quarter rose 3.6% to Rmb14,199 million.

AIA (01299) soared 6.2% to HK$54.5 after the insurer reported its value of new business growth of 53% for 1Q. AIA (01299) said its value of new business (VONB) for the first quarter ended 28 February 2017 rose 55%% on constant exchange rates and 53% on actual exchange rates year-on-year to US$884 million. This is also the highest quarterly VONB result since AIAs IPO in 2010. VONB margin was 49.2%, a decrease of 2 percentage points on constant exchange rates and 2.4 percentage points on actual exchange rates. Annualised new premiums amounted to US$1,779 million, an increase of 62% from a year earlier on a constant exchange rate basis.

Sands China (01928) reported a net income of US$349 million in the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 11.9% from a year earlier, according to the financial results released by its controlling shareholder Las Vegas Sands Corp. Total net revenues for Sands China increased 15.3% to US$1.88 billion. Las Vegas Sands said adjusted EBITDA for its Macao operations was US$624 million in the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 20.5% compared to the prior year quarter. EBITDA margin expanded by 140 basis points to a market-leading 33%, as it benefited from ongoing cost efficiencies and improved business mix. Its shares closed 3.5% down at HK$35.55.

Anta Sports (02020) fell 2.7% to HK$21.8 after Daiwa Researchs downgrade. Daiwa Research cut its target price for Anta Sports Products (02020) to HK$25 from HK$28, and maintained its buy rating. The research house cited Antas management indicating that the retail sales for its ANTA branded products were stable during 1Q 2017, with retail discount levels and channel inventory at 30% and 4-5 months, respectively. Daiwa expects the company to announce its 1Q 2017 operational update in mid-May, for which the research house estimated that ANTAs branded retail sales would grow 10% YoY for 1Q 2017 and a flattish 4Q 2017 order book. Daiwa lowered its 2017-19 EPS by 7-10% factoring in higher staff costs and rental expenses for its store openings and the 7% share dilution from its top-up placement of 175m shares in March.

Sensex falls as investors book profits

Indian stock market closed down after hitting record highs the previous day as investors took a breather and booked profits in recent outperformers such as ITC Ltd, while Axis Bank Ltd fell on a drop in quarterly profit. BSE Sensex closed lower by 104 points, or 0.34%, to 30,030, while the Nifty 50 fell 10 points, or 0.10%, to 9,342. Lupin, Aurobindo Pharma and ITC were the top losers, while Tata Motors, Infosys, Yes Bank and ACC gained the most.

Kotak Mahindra Bank rose 1.58% to Rs 914.55 after net profit rose 40.34% to Rs 976.48 crore on 9.85% rise in total income to Rs 5434.65 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The result was announced during market hours today, 27 April 2017. Kotak Mahindra Banks non-performing assets (NPAs) stood at Rs 3578.61 crore as on 31 March 2017 as against Rs 3177.88 crore as on 30 December 2016 and Rs 2838.11 crore as on 31 March 2016. The ratio of gross NPAs to gross advances rose to 2.59% as on 31 March 2017 as against 2.42% as on 31 December 2016 and 2.36% as on 31 March 2016. The ratio of net NPAs to net advances increased to 1.26% as on 31 March 2017 as against 1.07% as on 31 December 2016 and 1.06% as on 31 March 2016. The banks provisions and contingencies (excluding tax provisions) rose 33.41% to Rs 267.37 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016.

Car major Maruti Suzuki India fell 0.56% to Rs 6,371.15. The companys net profit rose 15.8% to Rs 1709 crore on 20.3% growth in net sales to Rs 18005.20 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The result was announced during market hours today, 27 April 2017. Growth in volumes, increase in share of the companys higher segment models, benefits due to full capacity utilization and cost reduction efforts contributed to increase in profits. This was partially offset by increase in commodity prices and adverse forex movement.

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