US stocks gain as dollar rally wanes; Banks jump

09:17 AM | 13 Mar, 2015
US stocks gain as dollar rally wanes; Banks jump
NEW YORK (APP) - A sharp rally in the dollar relented on Thursday, helping push the stock market to its best day in five weeks.

The U.S. currency dropped for the first day in nine against the euro after a weak retail sales report raised questions about the strength of the economy.

A jump in the dollar since the start of the month has pushed stocks back from record levels. Investors are worried that the stronger U.S. currency could crimp corporate earnings by hurting overseas sales. About half of the revenue generated by companies in the Standard & Poor s 500 index comes from overseas.

Financial stocks were among the biggest gainers after a number of banks got approval from the Federal Reserve to raise dividends and buy back shares. Intel was one of the days biggest losers after the company cut its revenue forecast for the first quarter.

"It s the pullback in the dollar that s cheering investors," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "The frenzy that we saw in the foreign exchange markets has, at least for today, calmed down."

The Standard & Poor s 500 index climbed 25.71 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,065.95. The best performance for the index since Feb. 3.

The Dow Jones industrial gained 259.83 points, or 1.5 percent, to 17,895.22. The Nasdaq composite climbed 43.55 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,893.29.

Stocks have slumped since the start of the month on speculation that the Federal Reserve could raise its benchmark interest rate in June as hiring continues to improve. Policy makers have held their main rate close to zero for more than six years to help the economy recover from the Great Recession.

Thursday s slide in the dollar and the positive news on the banks more than outweighed a government report that showed retail sales were sluggish in February. The ongoing weakness is raising concerns about the strength of the economy.

Retail sales remain poor despite a big drop in gas prices last year. U.S. retail sales fell in February as auto purchases dropped by the most in more than a year and Americans spent less at restaurants and home improvement stores. Retail sales fell 0.6 percent last month after a 0.8 percent decline in January, the Commerce Department said Thursday. It was the third straight drop.

Many investors think it s only a matter of time before consumers start to spend again, particularly if gas prices stay low and wages start to rise.

"We re still set up for a good back-half of the year," said Michael Scanlon, a senior investment analyst at John Hancock Asset Management. "People are going to start spending that money that they are saving on fuel ... and we re definitely seeing green shoots of wage inflation."

Among individual stocks, Intel was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500.

Intel cut its revenue forecast for the first quarter to $12.5 billion to $13.1 billion. The company cited weak demand for business desktop PCs and a strong dollar, which diminished revenue from overseas sales. Intel s stock slumped $1.53, or 4.7 percent, to $30.80.

Morgan Stanley was the biggest gainer in the index.

The bank and other financial stocks gained after the Fed approved their plans to raise dividends and buy back shares. The announcements follow regulatory tests that assess whether lenders have adequate reserves to withstand a major economic downturn.

Morgan Stanley gained $2.14, or 6.1 percent, to $37.09 after announcing a $3.1 billion stock buyback and raising its dividend to 15 cents from 10 cents.

Citigroup was another big gainer. Its stock rose $1.75, or 3.3 percent, to $54.08 after the bank announced late Wednesday that it would buy back $7.8 billion in stock and raise its quarterly dividend to 5 cents from 1 cent.

While the Fed appears to be edging closer to raising rates, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are still trying to stimulate their economies by lowering borrowing costs. The divergent policies have pushed the dollar sharply higher against most other major currencies.

In the short term, investors worry that the stronger dollar will act as a drag on profits for global companies that rely on overseas sales for a large portion of their revenue.

On the Thursday, the U.S. currency pared some of its gains.

The euro appreciated 0.5 percent against the dollar and was trading at $1.0635. The dollar also lost ground against the Japanese yen, falling to 121.29 yen.

U.S. government bond prices were little changed from Wednesday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.11 percent.

In metals trading, gold gained $1.30, or 0.1 percent, to $1,151.90 an ounce. Silver rose 15 cents, or 1 percent, to $15.52 an ounce. Copper gained 5.3 cents, or 2 percent, to $2.66 per pound.

The price of oil fell for the fifth time in 6 days on continuing concerns about rising supplies in the U.S. and around the world. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.12 to close at $47.05 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 46 cents to close at $57.08 in London.

In other futures trading on the NYMEX:

Wholesale gasoline rose 1.6 cent to close at $1.810 a gallon.

Heating oil rose 4.1 cent to close at $1.779 a gallon.

Natural gas fell 9 cents to close at $2.734 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Pakistani rupee registers marginal gain against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal and Dirham; Check forex rates

Pakistani rupee continued its momentum against the US dollar, and orther currencies in the open market on Thursday, as the local currency also improved in the inter-bank market.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Thursday, the US dollar moved down and was being quoted at 283.2 for buying and 286.15 for selling.

Euro comes down to 308 for buying and 311 for selling. British Pound rate dropped to 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.4 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.

Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 7 December 2023

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 283.2 286.15
Euro EUR 308 311
UK Pound Sterling GBP 358.5 362
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.4 78.1
Saudi Riyal SAR 76 76.8
Australian Dollar AUD 187.2 189
Bahrain Dinar BHD 757.23 765.23
Canadian Dollar CAD 209 211
China Yuan CNY 39.89 40.29
Danish Krone DKK 41.19 41.59
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.41 36.76
Indian Rupee INR 3.42 3.53
Japanese Yen JPY 1.39 1.45
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 921.71 930.71
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 61.02 61.62
New Zealand Dollar NZD 174.54 176.54
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.05 26.35
Omani Riyal OMR 739.62 747.62
Qatari Riyal QAR 78.22 78.92
Singapore Dollar SGD 211 213
Swedish Korona SEK 27.12 27.42
Swiss Franc CHF 324.94 327.44
Thai Bhat THB 8.06 8.21

Gold prices in Pakistan move down despite positive global cues; Check latest rates here

Gold price in Pakistan remained under pressure as the yellow metal moved down despite an upward trend in the international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 7 December 2023

On Thursday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,100 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,130. 

Single tola of 22 Karat Gold costs Rs199,000, 21 karat rate for per tola is Rs189,960 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,825.00 for each tola.

In the global market, gold prices hover at around $2026, gaining $8.30 on Thursday.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

Today Gold Price in Pakistan (4 September 2023)

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Karachi PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Islamabad PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Peshawar PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Quetta PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Sialkot PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Attock PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Gujranwala PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Jehlum PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Multan PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Bahawalpur PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Gujrat PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Nawabshah PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Chakwal PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Hyderabad PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Nowshehra PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Sargodha PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Faisalabad PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565
Mirpur PKR 217,100 PKR 2,565


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