Market watch: Bulls pull index to four-year high

Published: May 5, 2012

Benchmark KSE-100 index gains 192 points.

KARACHI: The stock exchange rounded off the first week of May with a sustained bull rally that saw the index close at levels last witnessed four years ago. During the day, the value of shares traded also surged past the Rs10 billion mark to a 15-month high. Foreign flows have soared during the week, clocking in at a healthy $13 million for the first three days of trading for the month, while another $19.57 million worth of securities were bought by foreigners on Friday.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index surged 1.33% or 192.36 points to end at the 14,612.28 point level.

“The index managed to close near the day’s high due to investor interest on speculations of favourable budget announcements for the corporate sector, and improvement in Pakistan-US relations,” said Ahsan Mehanti, director at Arif Habib Securities. “Rise in the local power tariff, expected approval for a favourable tariff for the telecom sector, and expectations for the early settlement of circular debt affected sentiments,” he said.

Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities, noted that “Major activity was once again witnessed in Pakistan Telecommunication Company – which alone contributed to 15% of traded volumes – while other telecom companies like Telecard and World Call also remained in the limelight.”

“Major Banks also chipped in with National Bank leading the pack, closing up 3.9%; followed by MCB Bank and United Bank jumping 1.4% and 2.8% respectively. Among oil stocks, Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum witnessed decent volumes and closed with clipped gains of 1.4% and 1.6% respectively,” added Jawad Khan, analyst at JS Global.

Trade volumes improved to 335.17 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 293.97 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was an impressive Rs10.5 billion.

Shares of 394 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day 182 stocks closed higher, 154 declined while 58 remained unchanged.

Pakistan Telecommuni­cation Company was the volume leader with 51.66 million shares gaining Rs0.92 to finish at Rs15.34. It was followed by DG Khan Cement with 30.29 million shares gaining Rs0.97 to close at Rs44.38 and Telecard Limited with 22.41 million shares gaining Rs0.57 to close at Rs2.20.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs1.76 billion, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2012.

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