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Nikkei ekes out gain on yen pause
Feb 28,2017

The Japan share market ended in green terrain for the first time in last five market days on Tuesday, 28 February 2017, thanks to buybacks on a pause in the yens strengthening and a continued Wall Street rally overnight. The Nikkei 225 average closed 11.52 points, or 0.06%, higher at 19,118.99. The Topix, covering all first-section issues, rose 1.32 points, or 0.09%, to close at 1,535.32

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Bullion, mining stocks weigh down Australia market
Feb 28,2017

Australian equity market finished session down on Tuesday, 28 February 2017, due to late hour sharp selloff amid worries ahead of Trumps State of the Union address tomorrow. Among key sectors, shares of bullion, metal & mining, resources, and consumer staples complainers witnessed heavy selloff, while energy and utilities stocks registered notable buying. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 12 points, or 0.21%, of 5,712.20, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 12.80 points, or 0.22%, to 5,761. For the month of February, the benchmark index gained 1.6%.

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Small gains at Wall Street
Feb 27,2017

U.S. stocks staged a last-minute rally on Friday, 24 February 2017 with major indices turning positive ahead of the closing bell and the Dow extended its record-setting streak as investors shrugged off concerns the rally was overdone. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose for a fifth straight week, while the Dow brought its string of weekly gains to three.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.1 points, or less than 0.1%, to end at 20,819.84. The S&P 500 rose 3.4 points, or 0.2%, to end at a record of 2,367.28. The Nasdaq Composite rose 9.8 points to end at 5,845.31, a rise 0.2%.

The days gains were broad, with nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ending higher. The only two that fell did so heavily, with financials and energy stocks. Among the top drags on the Dow, Goldman Sachs fell 1.5% while J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. fell 0.9%. The third- and fourth-largest decliners were Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

The stock market held a modest loss throughout the majority of Fridays session. Outside of an opening dip, todays session was rather range-bound as the market cut its initial loss in half and traded in sideways fashion until an afternoon charge into the green. Equity indices did show some life around noon following a report that Gary Cohn, who is the chief economic adviser to President Trump, indicated that the White House does not support the House GOP version of a border adjustment tax. This was construed as a positive for retailers given that they import so much of their merchandise for sale in the United States; hence, their earnings prospects would be likely to suffer.

In the latest economic data, consumer sentiment fell from a 13-year high in February, while new-home sales posted a strong rebound in January.

New Home Sales in January hit an annualized rate of 555,000, which was above the revised December rate of 535,000 (from 536,000), and less than the 566,000 that was expected by the consensus. The key takeaway from the report is that high prices continue to impede stronger sales activity at the lower end of the new home market. That point is borne out in the fact that homes priced $299,999 or less accounted for 44% of new homes sold in January 2017 versus 53% in January 2016.

The final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for February rose to 96.3 (Briefing.com consensus 95.8) from 95.7 in the preliminary reading.

Among stocks under focus, shares of Hewlett Packard slumped 6.9% after the IT company late Thursday reported lower sales than expected and cut its earnings projections for the fiscal year. Nordstrom rallied 5.7% after the department store chain late Thursday reported earnings that beat forecasts. The retailer has been in focus following a recent decision by the company to drop Ivanka Trumps fashion label, citing poor sales.

The ICE Dollar index rose 0.1% on Friday.

Crude prices closed the week at $53.97/bbl.

U.S. Treasuries finished the week on a positive note, closing Friday near their three-month highs. The benchmark 10-yr yield finished six basis points lower at 2.31%.

On Monday, investors will receive January Durable Orders (consensus 1.8%) and January Pending Home Sales (consensus 0.9%). The two reports will cross the wires at 8:30 am ET and 10:00 am ET, respectively.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks drop on Trump policies, political uncertainty in Europe
Feb 24,2017

Asia Pacific share market mostly lower on Friday, 24 February 2017, as lack of clarity over U.S. economic policies under President Donald Trump and political uncertainty in Europe weighed on sentiment. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.5%.

Investor risk sentiments were muted on following the lackluster cues from Wall Street overnight, after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed caution about the strength of the dollar and an uncertain outlook for U.S. economic stimulus. Mnuchin reportedly said in an interview that he expects U.S. interest rates to remain low for a long time, and expects significant tax reforms by President Donald Trump to be passed before Congress August recess, slower than market expectations. Mnuchins remarks came after Trump recently said he would introduce n++phenomenaln++ tax reforms in a few weeks.

As Trump has promised a phenomenal plan by early March to cut business taxes, many investors expect more clarity when he delivers a speech to Congress on Tuesday.

Wednesdays Federal Reserve minutes, which showed that there was less urgency among voting members to raise interest rates, have helped to drive down US treasury yields and the dollar. The yield on 10-year US treasuries hit a two-week low of 2.372%.

Shares were also affected by uncertainty over the European political environment ahead of key elections in France and Germany.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed for the second straight day on Thursday as traders seemed somewhat reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent strength. While the Dow rose 34.72 points or 0.2% to 20,810.32 and the S&P 500 inched up 0.99 points or less than a tenth of a% to 2,363.81, the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell by 25.12 points or 0.4% to 5,835.51.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Thursday. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1%, the U.K.s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both dropped by 0.4%.

Oil futures rose Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Agency reported a 600,000-barrel build in domestic crude oil inventories. WTI crude for April delivery rose 86 cents, or 1.6%, to close at $54.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Market ends down

Australian equity market ended down, following the lacklustre cues from Wall Street overnight, with materials and resources stocks leading retreat on sliding iron ore and copper prices. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 45.70 points, or 0.79%, of 5,739, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 45.60 points, or 0.78%, to 5,786.90. The benchmark ended down 1.3% on the week.

Materials and resources stocks tumbled due to pullback in base metal and iron ore prices. Chinas iron ore futures slid nearly 5% and were headed for a weekly loss, coming off a rapid rally underpinned by expectations that strong infrastructure spending would spur steel demand in the worlds top consumer. Copper prices also tumbled as worries about demand in China resurfaced after the countrys housing minister suggested moves were afoot to stabilise the property market, while a firm dollar reinforced negative sentiment. BHP Billiton, the worlds largest miner by market capitalisation, slumped 3% to A$25.06. Global miners Rio Tinto wilted 4.1% to A$62.88. Fortescue slumped 3.4% to A$6.57.

Financial stocks also took a beating, weighed down by the Big 4 banks. Commonwealth Bank of Australia dropped 0.6% to A$83.02, National Australia Bank 0.6% to A$31.90, Westpac 0.2% to A$34.09, and Australia & New Zealand Banking 0.7% to A$30.96.

Murray Goulburn plunged 5.6% as it swung to a half-year loss. Dairy processor reported a loss for the first half of the year on lower revenue and cuts its dividend, but expressed confidence for the outlook beyond the current financial year.

Cabcharge was up 6.6% to A$3.86 after reporting a A$106.75 million loss. Underlying net profit after tax was A$12.2 million and the company announced a special 80 cent dividend on top of the interim payout of 10 cents a share.

Nikkei falls on strong yen

The Japan share market settled down for third straight trading session, as risk sentiments weighed down by the yens strength against greenback after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed caution about the strength of the dollar, while an uncertain outlook for U.S. economic stimulus weighed on investor sentiment. Shares were also affected by uncertainty over the European political environment ahead of key elections in France and Germany. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 87.92 points, or 0.45%. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 87.92 points, or 0.45%, to 19,283.54. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 6.11 points, or 0.39%, lower at 1,550.14.

Shares of export-oriented issues such as carmakers and electronics manufacturers tumbled as the yens appreciated against the U.S. dollar, with Toyota Motor falling 0.8% to 6,448 yen, Hitachi shedding 0.2% to 633 yen, and Sony declining 0.8% to 3,486 yen. A stronger yen hurts the profitability of Japans major exporters and tends to dent demand for their shares. Market heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, slipped 0.28% to 35,180 yen and mobile carrier SoftBank, another heavyweight, dropped 0.48% to 8,600 yen.

Shares of insurers and banks dropped, tracking lower bond yields in the U.S. and Japan. So-called cyclical stocks, which had benefited from the prospect of U.S. fiscal stimulus, stronger U.S. growth and a higher dollar, were hurt by some profit-taking. Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. fell 1.4% to 2,175.0 yen. Major bank Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. lost 0.9% to 4,168 yen. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. dropped 0.8% to 758.4 yen despite news that the company will move into online retail banking in the U.S. to boost dollar deposits.

Issues that had rallied on expectations for Trumps fiscal stimulus also dropped. Construction machinery maker Komatsu fell 5.4% to 2,710.5 yen. Steel maker JFE Holdings Inc. dropped 2.1% to 2,156 yen. Taiheiyo Cement was down 3.7% at 391 yen, and Mitsui Mining and Smelting decreased 3.6% to 370 yen.

Toshiba Corp. remained volatile, ending up 4.1% at 223.9 yen after falling 4.3% on Thursday and jumping 22% on Wednesday. The rebound came after a news report said it may place its loss-hit US nuclear arm Westinghouse Electric into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Separately, Toshiba said it was ready to spin off a majority stake in its prized memory chip business -- seen as critical to raising cash and repairing its battered balance sheet.

China Stocks close flat

Mainland China stock market closed virtually flat after reversing initial losses, as reform hopes continued to support risk appetite buying. Sector performance was mixed, with gains were led by logistics and transport stocks, while losses were led by material stocks. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.1% to 3,253.4. The large-cap CSI 300 Index rose 0.02% to 3,473.9, the Shenzhen Component Index gained 0.1% to 10,443.7, and the Nasdaq-like ChiNext increased 0.7% to 1,938.4. For the week, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.6%, extending its rising trend for the third consecutive week.

S.F. Holding, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Wang Wei, surged by the 10% trade limit to a near four-month high, surpassing China Vanke and Midea Group to become the largest stock by market value on Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Shares in SF Express, mainland Chinas largest express delivery company, soared by their daily limit of 10% to 55.2 yuan in Shenzhen in their debut trading after a back door listing through a reverse takeover of a listed rare earth trader.

The Chinese currency renminbi, or yuan, was firmed up against the U.S. dollar even after the Peoples Bank of China set the midpoint rate stronger. The Peoples Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.8655 per dollar prior to market open, firmer than the previous fix of 6.8695. The spot market opened at 6.8718 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.8705 at midday, 30 pips stronger than the previous late session close and 0.07% weaker than the midpoint.

Hong Kong Stocks falls on profit booking

The Hong Kong stock market closed down on Friday, 24 February 2017, dragged down by profit-taking, which offset a rally in telecommunication and aviation stocks. The Hang Seng Index closed 0.6% lower at 23,965.7, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index ended 1% lower to 10,418.7. Total turnover on the main board decreased slightly to HK$80.4 billion from HK$81.8 billion on Thursday. For the week, the index lost 0.3%.

The northbound quota balance of the Shanghai-HK Connect program was RMB12.637 billion, accounting for 97.2% of the daily allowed quota of RMB13 billion. The southbound quota balance was RMB9.937 billion, accounting for 94.6% of the daily allowed quota of RMB10.5 billion.

As for the Shenzhen-HK Connect, the northbound quota balance was RMB12.421 billion, accounting for 95.5% of the daily allowed quota of RMB13 billion. The southbound quota balance was RMB10.131 billion, accounting for 96.5% of the daily allowed quota of RMB10.5 billion.

China Unicom was the best performing blue chip, with its shares up 2.9% to HK$9.6, their best level since December 9 after a state-controlled newspaper, citing officials, reported that the telecom sector is the key target for mixed ownership reform.

Aviation stocks also gained strength. Beijing Capital International Airport jumped 4.9% to HK$8.4 while China Eastern Airlines rose 4% to HK$4.5.

Apple parts suppliers followed the retreat of the US tech giant on Wall Street overnight. AAC Technologies, the acoustic component manufacturer which works with Apple, was the biggest loser on the Hang Seng Index, sinking 4.7% to HK$82.8. Sunny Optical Technology, which supplies dual cameras for Apples iPhone 7 Plus, fell 5.6% to HK$50.

AIA Group shares were down 0.6% to HK$48.8, despite better-than-expected annual results and dividend payment. The insurer announced 25% growth in the value of new business for 2016, based on actual exchange rates, and declared a 25% increase in final dividend.

Esprit (00330) soared 7.4% to HK$7.29 after Deutsche Banks rating and target price upgrade. The research house raised its target price for Esprit Holdings (00330) to HK$5.83 from HK$5.48, and upgraded its rating to hold from sell. Esprit Holdings (00330) on Wednesday, 22 February 2017, released earning results, showing its profit attributable to shareholders of HK$61 million for the six months ended 31 December 2016, as compared to the loss of HK$238 million for the same period last year. The revenue was HK$8,323 million, a decrease of 10.6% from a year earlier. The Groups gross profit fell 7% year-on-year to HK$4,371 million, which results in gross profit margin of 52.5%, representing a yoy increase of 2 percentage points.

Indian stock market shut on account of Mahashivratri

Indian stock markets remains shut today, 24 February 2017 on account of Mahashivratri.

Indian stock market logged small gains on Thursday, 23 February 2017. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, gained 28.26 points or 0.1% to settle at 28,892.97. The Nifty 50 index rose 12.60 points or 0.14% to settle at 8,939.50. Shares of index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) fell on profit booking. Telecom shares rose after Bharti Airtel said it will acquire Telenor India. IT stocks reversed yesterdays slide. Bank stocks saw mixed trend.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 was down 0.4% to 7058.58. South Koreas KOSPI index dropped 0.64% to 2094.12. Taiwans Taiex index fell 0.2% to 9750.47. Malaysias KLCI shed 0.36% to 1698.35. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index added 0.24% to 5385.91. Singapores Straits Times index slid 0.65% to 3117.03.

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Hong Kong Stocks falls on profit booking
Feb 24,2017

The Hong Kong stock market closed down on Friday, 24 February 2017, dragged down by profit-taking, which offset a rally in telecommunication and aviation stocks. The Hang Seng Index closed 0.6% lower at 23,965.7, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index ended 1% lower to 10,418.7. Total turnover on the main board decreased slightly to HK$80.4 billion from HK$81.8 billion on Thursday. For the week, the index lost 0.3%.

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China Stocks close flat
Feb 24,2017

Mainland China stock market closed virtually flat after reversing initial losses on Friday, 24 February 2017, as reform hopes continued to support risk appetite buying. Sector performance was mixed, with gains were led by logistics and transport stocks, while losses were led by material stocks. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.1% to 3,253.4. The large-cap CSI 300 Index rose 0.02% to 3,473.9, the Shenzhen Component Index gained 0.1% to 10,443.7, and the Nasdaq-like ChiNext increased 0.7% to 1,938.4. For the week, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.6%, extending its rising trend for the third consecutive week.

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Nikkei falls on strong yen
Feb 24,2017

The Japan share market settled down for third straight trading session on Friday, 24 February 2017, as risk sentiments weighed down by the yens strength against greenback after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed caution about the strength of the dollar, while an uncertain outlook for U.S. economic stimulus weighed on investor sentiment. Shares were also affected by uncertainty over the European political environment ahead of key elections in France and Germany. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 87.92 points, or 0.45%. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 87.92 points, or 0.45%, to 19,283.54. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 6.11 points, or 0.39%, lower at 1,550.14.

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Australia Market ends down
Feb 24,2017

Australian equity market ended down on Friday, 24 February 2017, following the lacklustre cues from Wall Street overnight, with materials and resources stocks leading retreat on sliding iron ore and copper prices. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 45.70 points, or 0.79%, of 5,739, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 45.60 points, or 0.78%, to 5,786.90. The benchmark ended down 1.3% on the week.

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Australia Miner weighs down stocks
Feb 24,2017

Australian equity market ended down on Friday, 24 February 2017, following the lacklustre cues from Wall Street overnight, with materials and resources stocks leading retreat on sliding iron ore and copper prices. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 45.70 points, or 0.79%, of 5,739, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 45.60 points, or 0.78%, to 5,786.90. The benchmark ended down 1.3% on the week.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks gain on positive offshore cues
Feb 22,2017

Asia Pacific share market mostly higher on Wednesday, 22 February 2017, as sentiments were lifted by record-setting US markets overnight. However, gains on the regional benchmark indices were muted as investors await policy details from the Trump administration on tax reforms and deregulation. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5%.

The Dow Jones industrial average hit a record closing high for the eighth consecutive session in New York on Tuesday, after a three-day weekend, on the back of strong results by Wal-Mart and Home Depot.Financial markets are waiting on the Feds Jan. 31-Feb. 1 policy meeting minutes due later in the day for fresh hints on the central banks stance towards interest rates. Many market players agreed that the minutes will reveal no major differences from Fed Chair Janet Yellens recent congressional testimony.

In commodities, crude extended gains from the previous day when it touched 1-1/2-month peaks on OPECs optimism for greater compliance with its deal with other producers including Russia to curb output. Brent crude rose 0.5% to $56.92 a barrel and U.S. crude added 0.4% to $54.53 a barrel.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Market ends up

Australian equity market ended higher in choppy trade, as gains in the Consumer Staples, Healthcare and Industrials sectors led shares higher. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 14.10 points, or 0.24%, of 5,805.10, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 14.70 points, or 0.25%, to 5,850.10.

The big four banks were mostly higher. ANZ Banking, Westpac and National Australia Bank were higher in a range of 0.5% to 0.7%, while Commonwealth Bank was down 0.3% as its shares traded ex-dividend.

Fortescue Metals posted a sharp increase in profit for the first half of the year, reflecting a rebound in iron ore prices and lower interest costs. However, shares of the miner, which also said it will more than triple its interim dividend payment, was down 2.7%.

Investors were unimpressed with BHP Billiton after the worlds biggest miner reported, at the close of market yesterday, that it had bounced back to profitability in the six months to December, with a rebound in prices for iron ore, coal and petroleum contributing to a profit of $US3.2 billion ($A4.2 billion). Its shares were down 0.7%.

Woodside Petroleum closed 0.1% up after the company said its full-year profit surged from last year, when results were weighed down by large writedowns. The energy giant announced its full-year profit had skyrocketed to $US868 million ($A1.1 billion), from $US26 million a year earlier. The company also raised its final dividend.

Woolworths shares inclined 4.4% after the company reported a turnaround to profit in the first half and expects to complete the review of its BIG W strategy in the next few months.

Fairfax Media shares were up 8% after news that the media group is aiming to boost shareholder returns by spinning off Domain into a separate ASX-listed business.

Blackmores recorded a 41% fall in first-half profit due to a slump in Australian vitamin sales. The vitamins and nutritional supplements makers shares were losing more than 9%.

Vocus Groups shares gained 7% after the telecom operator reported a 95% surge in first-half net profit on a five-fold jump in revenue.

Nikkei ends flat

The Japan share market settled marginally down, as risk sentiments weighed down by the yens strength against greenback, uncertainty over European politics--and especially the French presidential election, and on caution ahead of the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserves latest meeting for clues for interest rate hikes. The 225-issue Nikkei average edged down 1.57 points, or 0.01%, to finish at 19,379.87. On the other hand, the Topix index of all first-section issues closed up 1.49 points, or 0.10%, at 1,557.09.

Financials were lower as uncertainty over European politics--and especially the French presidential election--pushed haven assets like government bonds. Lower government bond yields decrease financial firms profit margins. Nomura Holdings Inc. lost 0.7% to 750.0 yen. Major insurer Sompo Holdings Inc. fell 0.5% to Y4,350.

Steel stocks were among the best performers. JFE Holdings Inc. rose 3.0% to Y2,228.0. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. gained 1.8% to Y2,871.5.

Among other individual stocks, e-commerce company Rakuten Inc. rose 9.4% to Y1,129.5 after the company announced a share repurchase program. Rakuten said it will buy back 8.4% of total shares outstanding, excluding treasury stock, for a maximum acquisition value of 100 billion yen. Shares have trended lower since Feb. 13, when the company posted a 15% profit decrease for 2016.

Toshiba Corp. rose 22% to Y224.7 following a Nikkei business daily report that the company has asked potential bidders for its memory-chip business to value the asset at a minimum Y2 trillion yen ($17.6 billion). The firm on Tuesday said it has completed the 31.4 billion yen sale of its medical finance unit to copier and camera maker Canon.

China Stocks close near 3-month peak

Mainland China stock market rose for a third straight day to approach three-month highs, as risk sentiments boosted by reports that wealth management products (WMPs) might be allowed to invest in the stock market directly after a united regulation system covering WMPs was proposed. Most sectors were largely unchanged, with gains were led by material and consumer shares. At the close, the blue-chip CSI 300 index inched up 0.2% to 3,489.76 points. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.24% to 3,261.22 points, while the Shenzhen Component Index finished 0.37% higher at 10,444.38 points. The ChiNext, the countrys NASDAQ equivalent, slipped 0.06% to 1,919.97 points.

Shares in Jiangsu Wujiang Rural Commercial Bank tumbled 9.1%, the biggest one-day loss since it was listed in late November 2016.

Real estate stocks barely moved after data showed home price growth slowed for the fourth straight month as demand cooled further in Chinas biggest cities.

On the currency news front- The Chinese currency renminbi, or yuan, was slightly up against the U.S. dollar even after the Peoples Bank of China set the fixing rate weaker for a third consecutive day. The PBOC set the yuan central parity at 6.8830, compared with 6.8790 on Tuesday. The yuan was last at 6.8795 against the U.S. unit, compared with the official closing price of 6.8826 on Tuesday.

Hong Kong Stocks ends near 18-1/2-month high

The Hong Kong stock market closed near 18 and a half months high, as sentiments were lifted by record-setting US markets overnight, firmer domestic economic growth outlook, and stronger inflows from the mainland. The benchmark Hang Seng index went up 0.99% to 24,201.96 points. Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.2% to 10,537.58. Turnover increased to HK$92.5 billion from HK$87.7 billion on Tuesday.

Market sentiments were lifted on news that Hong Kong granted out billions in tax cuts & poverty relief on Wednesday, to encourage its economy that is expected to grow more strongly than expected at 2-3% this year.

Shares of Chinese developers listed in Hong Kong were higher. According to Chinas latest data, property price growth of newly built commodity housing in 70 major cities for January showed a slowdown. CR Land (01109) put on 5% to HK$22. China Overseas (00688) climbed 3.6% to HK$24.45. New World (00017) added 3.5% to HK$9.78 after the developer reported 2016 interim earnings grew 31% to HK$4.34 billion.

Kunlun Energy (00135) issued profit warning. The stock gained 1.3% to HK$6.87. CCB (00939) shot up 2.4% to HK$6.45, boosted by news that overall NPLs dropped for mainland commercial banks. ICBC (01398) also added 2.2% to HK$5.18.

Sensex, Nifty hit more than five-month closing high

A surge in index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) and positive global stocks helped key benchmark indices register modest gains today. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 103.12 points or 0.36% to settle at 28,864.71. The Nifty 50 index rose 19.05 points or 0.21% to settle at 8,926.90.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) surged 10.97% to Rs 1,207.65 as investors anticipated revenue generation for its telecom venture Jio starting from 1 April 2017. The company said that its subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL) has breached the 100 million customer mark in 170 days. 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. The announcement was made at the fag end of market hours yesterday, 21 February 2017.

Bharti Airtel declined 0.56%. The company announced that it has through its subsidiary Bharti Airtel Services, acquired a strategic stake in Seynse Technologies, a financial technology company for undisclosed sum. The announcement was made during market hours today, 22 February 2017. The investment was completed by the company. Turnover of Seynse as on 31 March 2016 was Rs 6.53 lakhs and had 41 employees.

Jindal Steel & Power rose 0.78%, with the stock extending recent rally. Shares of Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) had risen 24.30% in five trading sessions to settle at Rs 109.45 yesterday, 21 February 2017, from its close of Rs 88.05 on 14 February 2017.

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Australia Market ends up
Feb 22,2017

Australian equity market ended higher in choppy trade on Wednesday, 22 February 2017, as gains in the Consumer Staples, Healthcare and Industrials sectors led shares higher. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 14.10 points, or 0.24%, of 5,805.10, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 14.70 points, or 0.25%, to 5,850.10.

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Nikkei ends flat
Feb 22,2017

The Japan share market settled marginally down on Wednesday, 22 February 2017, as risk sentiments weighed down by the yens strength against greenback, uncertainty over European politics--and especially the French presidential election, and on caution ahead of the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserves latest meeting for clues for interest rate hikes. The 225-issue Nikkei average edged down 1.57 points, or 0.01%, to finish at 19,379.87. The Topix index of all first-section issues closed up 1.49 points, or 0.10%, at 1,557.09.

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China Stocks close near 3-month peak
Feb 22,2017

Mainland China stock market rose for a third straight day to approach three-month highs on Wednesday, 22 February 2017, as risk sentiments boosted by reports that wealth management products (WMPs) might be allowed to invest in the stock market directly after a united regulation system covering WMPs was proposed. Most sectors were largely unchanged, with gains were led by material and consumer shares. At the close, the blue-chip CSI 300 index inched up 0.2% to 3,489.76 points. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.24% to 3,261.22 points, while the Shenzhen Component Index finished 0.37% higher at 10,444.38 points. The ChiNext, the countrys NASDAQ equivalent, slipped 0.06% to 1,919.97 points.

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Hong Kong Stocks ends near 18-1/2-month high
Feb 22,2017

The Hong Kong stock market closed near 18 and a half months high on Wednesday, 22 February 2017, as sentiments were lifted by record-setting US markets overnight, firmer domestic economic growth outlook, and stronger inflows from the mainland. The benchmark Hang Seng index went up 0.99 percent to 24,201.96 points. Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.2% to 10,537.58. Turnover increased to HK$92.5 billion from HK$87.7 billion on Tuesday.

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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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