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US stocks end higher; Macy’s leads retailers down

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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks rose for a fifth straight session on Thursday, overcoming disappointing holiday sales from Macy’s and other retailers following a day of choppy trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.5 percent at 24,000.76.

The broad-based S&P 500 also gained 0.5 percent to 2,596.59, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 percent to 6,986.07.

Stocks were pressured early after Macy’s cut its profit forecast following a disappointing holiday shopping season. Macy’s sank 17.7 percent and other retailers also fell.

After recovering, Wall Street again tumbled into negative territory after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told an afternoon Washington event that the Fed’s large securities holdings should be “substantially smaller” than the current level of just under $4 trillion.

But stocks again recovered after that, extending a rally spurred by dovish comments by Powell last Friday and prolonged by US-China talks that were seen as boosting the odds of a trade agreement.

Among retailers, Target fell 2.9 percent after it reported a 5.7 percent jump in comparable holiday sales but did not boost its profit forecasts.

Other retailers that fell included Best Buy, down 1.6 percent, Gap, down 3.1 percent and Williams-Sonoma, down 2.4 percent. Walmart gained 0.1 percent.

American Airlines shed 4.1 percent as it cut its profit forecast range and some other key financial projections following the key holiday travel season.

Ford fell 0.5 percent after announcing a major restructuring in Europe that will include job cuts and the phasing out of some car models that are not selling well.

 

 

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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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