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Asia markets rally after Wall St surge as US-China trade talks begin

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HONG KONG: Asian markets rallied Monday after a blockbuster performance on Wall Street as US jobs data beat forecasts and the head of the Federal Reserve hinted at a slower pace of interest rate hikes.

China’s move to make it easier for banks to lend also provided support to equities, while investors keep an eye on Beijing as negotiators begin talks to end a trade war between the world’s top two economies.

Dealers started the week on the front foot following a surge on Wall Street Friday that came after figures showed more than 300,000 US jobs were created in December, tempering recent concerns about growth.

Later that day, Fed boss Jerome Powell said the bank had no “pre-set” plan for raising borrowing costs and was keeping a close watch on financial developments.

“We’re listening… sensitively to the message that markets are sending and we’ll be taking those downside risks into account as we make policy going forward,” he told a gathering of economists.

The news was music to the ears of traders, who have been fretting that the Fed would press on with its rate hike cycle, making it more expensive to borrow for investment.

The comments saw the Dow pile on more than three percent while the Nasdaq was more than four percent higher.

They also overshadowed the budget gridlock on Capitol Hill that has shut down the US government, with Donald Trump warning it could go on for years if he is not given funding to build a wall on the Mexican border.

And the gains filtered through to Asia, where Tokyo’s Nikkei ended the morning session 2.8 percent higher, while Sydney gained 1.3 percent and Seoul jumped 1.6 percent.

Taipei surged two percent and Manila was up 1.7 percent with Jakarta 1.1 percent up.

 

 

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Business

Is Uber buying Careem for $3.1b?

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DUBAI: According to the rumors making rounds here today it seems that Uber is about to acquire Careem for $3.1b!

Sources privy to NPTV have insinuated that the deal will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 26th March). Initially Uber will pay $1.4 billion in cash and the rest in notes convertible to Uber shares.

It comes as Uber prepares for its initial public offering — expected next month — which could see the rideshare giant’s value increase to $100 billion.

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Pakistan to receive $2.1b from China

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China remains largest holder of U.S. Treasuries

ISLAMABAD: According to the Ministry of Finance, it has completed all procedural formalities with Chinese counterpart for a facility of $ 2.1 Billion. 

The amount, due to be received on Monday 25th of March, would further strengthen the country’s balance of payment situation. The funds that would be deposited in SBP would also strengthen foreign exchange reserves position.

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Pakistan to receive US $ 2.1 bln from China by Monday: Spokesman

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will receive US $ 2.1 billion from China by Monday March 25, which would further strengthen country’s balance of payment situation, Adviser and Spokesman for Ministry of Finance, Dr Khaqan Najeeb said.

“The ministry of finance has completed all procedural formalities with Chinese counterpart for facility of RMB 15 billion equivalent to US $ 2.1 billion,” the advisor said in a tweet here Saturday.

He said that the funds would be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) account by Monday March 25, adding that it would further strengthen foreign exchange reserves position and ensure balance of payment stability.

Meanwhile, the advisor clarified that the discussions with international partners do not entail any target level of exchange rate.

In a tweet, the spokesman said that focus was on further strengthening the exchange rate regime, aligning it and keeping it consistent with the evolving macroeconomic fundamentals of the economy.

He said the news related to fixing exchange rate target was baseless and unfounded. “Clearly no target PKR/USD exchange rate is envisaged. Speculation baseless and unfounded,” he tweeted.

He said State Bank of Pakistan’s (SPB) economic models point to the real effective exchange rate at equilibrium value.

He said stability in balance of payment was ensured with a fall in current account deficit and more than adequate foreign financing availability.

 

 

 

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