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European stock markets slide LONDON: European stock markets slid Wednesday after sharp gains the day before, while oil prices drifted to new lows, as investors awaited the outcome of the US Federal Reserve meeting.Oil prices extended their losses to fresh five-and-a-half-year lows, while the Russian ruble rebounded a bit after its recent plunge against the dollar.Global markets have been in turmoil this week owing to concerns about the effect of plunging oil prices on energy firms as well as the crude-dependent Russian economy, which is also straining under Western sanctions.Eyes were on the outcome of the Fed's two-day meeting, with dealers looking for some guidance over monetary policy amid growing speculation that the central bank will raise interest rates by the middle of 2015."Decision day for the Federal Reserve and the big question is whether they will refine their forward guidance and remove the term 'considerable time' from their description of how long they ...

Nikkei rises on hopes of dovish Fed; Japan Tobacco tumbles TOKYO: Japanese stocks rose on Wednesday, moving away from a 6-1/2-week low as hopes of a continuation of the US Federal Reserve's dovish stance helped sentiment recover, while Japan Tobacco Inc tumbled.Japan Tobacco, which is highly exposed to crisis-hit Russia, dived 7.8 percent on heavy volume and contributed a hefty negative 10 points to the Nikkei. It was the fourth most traded stock by turnover.Goldman Sachs said Russia contributes 20-25 percent of its operating profits, ...

South Africa's rand on the backfoot as local, EM sentiment sours JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand was weaker against the U.S. dollar early on Wednesday with thin volumes following a public holiday on Tuesday.Market watchers expected the local unit to trend lower after state power utility Eskom said on Tuesday that nation-wide blackouts were set to continue.Russia's financial crisis is also expected to fuel negative sentiment towards riskier emerging market assets after the rouble tumbled close to 20 percent on Tuesday.By 0649 GMT the rand was down ...

Australian shares tipped to end 2015 at highest since financial crisis SYDNEY: Australia's benchmark share index is set to end 2015 at their highest since May 2008, a Reuters poll found, as prevalent risks from weak commodity prices are seen eclipsed by an improving U.S. economy and hefty inflows from pension funds.Analysts had previously forecast the S&P/ASX 200 index would hit 5,700 points by the end of 2014 but a recent market rout led by a slump in iron ore and oil prices forced them to ...

China stocks close up as banks push higher BEIJING: China stocks closed up on Wednesday as mainland bank shares pushed higher in the afternoon session.The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 1.7 percent, to 3,360.60, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.3 percent, to 3,061.02 points.The CSI300 banking index rose 6.96 percent at the close. It was up 5.81 percent at the end of the morning session.Among the most active stocks in Shanghai were Minsheng Bank, up ...

Gulf markets stabilise after sharp drops; Saudis reassure on spending DUBAI: Gulf stock markets were relatively calm in early trade on Wednesday after falling sharply in the previous session when Brent crude oil dropped below $60 per barrel.Crude was trading at roughly the same levels, just below $60, on Wednesday. But Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf said his country would continue spending on development projects and social benefits in its 2015 budget as part of a "counter-cyclical" policy, which may have reassured investors that the ...

Britain's FTSE resumes slide, hit by emerging-market exposure LONDON: Britain's top share index dropped on Wednesday to resume its recent slump after a bounce in the previous session, led down by stocks exposed to turbulent emerging markets.Financials and consumer staples, sectors which have high global exposure, combined to take more than 20 points off the FTSE 100. The index was down 46.56 points, or 0.7 percent, at 6,285.27 points at 0850 GMT.Russian assets were volatile again on Wednesday as the finance ministry battled ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,778.15 2.43
Arrow Nasdaq 4,748.40 2.24
Arrow S&P 2,061.23 2.40
Arrow FTSE 6,466.00 2.04
Arrow DAX 9,811.06 2.79
Arrow CAC-40 4,249.49 3.35
Arrow Nikkei 17,210.05 2.32
Arrow H.Seng 22,832.21 1.09
Arrow Sensex 27,126.57 1.56

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln