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PHILIPPINES – The Philippines Stock Exchange index (PSEi) reached a record high of 6,234 points, up by 0.68 percent, on positive assessment of the Philippines economy by the country’s president. The President, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, reported that the Philippines economy grew more than 6% in 2012.

The rise in the PSEi was mirrored by a similar 0.69 percent uptick in the Philippines all-shares index. The property sector led with a rise of 1.37 percent while the financial sector gained only 0.24 percent on Thursday's trading. In total, 2.67 billion shares worth P10.131 billion were traded.

MUMBAI – The benchmark Sensitive Index at the Bombay Stock Exchange fell by 0.3% to 19,950. The decline came on the heels of a contraction in the U.S. 4th Quarter 2012 GDP.


Investors are focusing their attention on earnings for the country’s major financial institutions. India’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, reported on Thursday. “Consolidated net profit for the quarter ended December 2012 increased 22 per cent to Rs 2,645, owing to an improvement in the banking and life insurance businesses”. State owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) continued its rally, ending the day at 341 rupees, up by 0.9 percent.

KARACHI – The benchmark KSE-100 index continued its rally to 17,205 points, an increase of 0.19 percent. This rally was led by a buoyant telecommunications sector, which was bolstered by news of Abu Dhabi Group acquiring Warid Telecom, and by expectations of positive earnings reports from PTCL.

According to Hasnain Asghar Ali at Escorts Capital, the rally in the benchmark KSE-100 index was also helped largely by the Oil and Gas sector companies. Speculations on favorable earnings releases, upcoming rate cut in the next monetary policy decision, and increasing global commodities markets are all helping to sustain the rise in the KSE-100 index.

LONDON – London’s benchmark FTSE-100 declined based on reports that the U.S. GDP contracted in the 4th quarter of Q4 2012 – mostly due to a decline in U.S. Defense spending. As expected, the news caused Defense companies stocks like BAE systems to drop 7.3p – down to 341p. Chemring Group, another Defense stock closed at 275.8p, down 14.1p.  But the losses did not end with the Defense sector. Rather it was felt across all major stock sectors of the London Stock Exchange.

Among the losers were Platinum refiner Johnson Matthey, Imperial Tobacco, energy services group Petrofac, Amec, Wood Group, engineering firm Renishaw, Antofagasta and Polymetal. Amidst the spate of losses, gains by numerous firms like chip designer Arm, Imagination Technologies, WPP and telecoms giant Vodafone were welcome sights for investors.