Market watch: Index recovers as Pak-US relations gradually ease

Published: May 16, 2012

Benchmark KSE-100 index gains 85 points.

KARACHI: The stock market recovered some of its recently-eroded gains on Tuesday, as some clarity was achieved on the future of US-Pakistan relations after Islamabad moved to clear the air regarding its commitment to reopening Nato supply routes on Monday. The development was greeted by analysts and dealers as a green signal for renewing commitment to the stock market.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.60% or 84.90 points to end at the 14,313.67 point level.

Arif Habib Corp Director Ahsan Mehanti said that “investor interest [was] witnessed in blue-chip stocks in the oversold fertiliser, cement, telecom sectors; despite uncertain global stocks and commodities due to the euro-zone debt crises.”

“Strong earnings outlook for [the] oil sector, expected double-digit rise in PSDP allocations in the federal budget, and hopes for early resolution of circular debt issues played a catalyst role in bullish sentiments,” he added.

Trade volumes improved to 153 million shares, compared with Monday’s tally of 101 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.30 billion.

“The advance was led by oil and power sector stocks, after news that the Economic Coordination Committee is meeting today to approve the issuance of Term Finance Certificates to OGDC for the resolution of circular debt in the power sector,” informed Jawad Khan, analyst at JS Global. Pakistan State Oil gained 1.9% because it stands to be a major beneficiary from this development, he revealed.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company was the volume leader with 23.32 million shares gaining Rs0.62 to finish at Rs16.98. It was followed by Engro Foods with 21.39 million shares losing Rs2.63 to close at Rs63.67 and DG Khan Cement with 14.66 million shares losing Rs1.80 to close at Rs43.15.

Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs443.36 million and sellers of Rs757.27 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2012.

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