Last update: Fri, 06 May 2016 11pm

Stocks and Bonds


Telecoms and television broadcasting firm BT Group on Thursday said it planned to invest £6.0 billion ($8.7 billion, 7.6 billion euros) over three years to extend superfast Internet connections across Britain. The announcement comes as the British group, which goes head-to-head with Sky for live TV coverage of English Premier League football, announced a 15-percent hike in annual pre-tax profits to more than £3.0 billion.

Jawwad Cheema has been appointed as the chief executive officer/managing director of Shell Pakistan Limited, said a statement the multinational oil firm issued on Thursday. To take charge from August 1, Cheema would replace Omar Sheikh who is moving on to another senior leadership role within the Shell Group. Cheema is currently the vice president for Shell Business Operations in the Global Real Estate function with Royal Dutch Shell. He joined Shell in 1997 and has held several senior leadership roles in Downstream Operations, in Pakistan and internationally within the Group, with extensive experience in Retail.
Wall Street trimmed early gains but remained higher in afternoon trading on Thursday as a rise in oil prices boosted energy shares, and investors awaited US jobs data on Friday. Oil prices jumped about 3 percent as a huge wildfire in Canada's oil sands region and escalating tensions in Libya stoked concerns among investors of a near-term shortage in supply. Investors are also keeping a keen eye on the jobs data for April as any signs of a strengthening labour market could influence the pace of future rate hikes.
On Thursday, BRIndex30 opened at 21,916.91 points and remained positive throughout the trading session. It touched an intraday high of 22,162.91 points and an intraday low of 21,937.67 points and closed at 22,119.11 points which was 202.2 points or 0.92 percent higher than previous close. Total volume was 154,807,000, which was 61.69 percent of KSE All share volume and 90.37 percent of KSE 100 volume. The KSE All Share volume was 250,959,100 and KSE 100 volume was 171,302,920.
US stocks declined for a second day on Wednesday, weighed down by tepid data on private sector US jobs and a retreat in biotech shares. Weaker-than-expected results from Priceline added to the bearish tone. The Nasdaq Biotech Index dropped 2.9 percent, its seventh session of losses out of the last eight. The ADP private sector employment report showed hiring in April fell to its lowest in three years. The report acts as a precursor to the more comprehensive government nonfarm payrolls data due on Friday.
Britain's top share index steadied near a one-month low on Thursday, as gains in companies like BT and RSA offset declines by companies such as Centrica and Inmarsat after they gave discouraging updates. Centrica ended 9.8 percent lower, its biggest one-day percentage drop since late 2008 and wiping off more than 1 billion pounds ($1.45 billion) from its market capitalisation, after saying it would sell shares to pay off debt.
European stock markets edged higher on Thursday, buoyed by encouraging earnings updates including from telecoms group BT and oil company Repsol. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 0.3 percent higher after falling 1.2 percent in the previous session to its lowest level in almost a month. The FTSEurofirst has lost around 10 percent so far in 2016, hit - like other global stock markets - by worries about a slowdown in China, the world's second-biggest economy, and uncertainty over future US interest rate rises.