Market watch: Stocks continue recovery as tensions ease

Published: January 10, 2013

Trade volumes improved to 91 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 86 million shares.

KARACHI: The stock market continued its advance back up towards the 17,000 points barrier, after the past few sessions had seen it lose points due to rising political turmoil in the country.

“Stocks closed higher at the KSE, as hopes rise over positive talks with the International Monetary Fund on [its] macroeconomic assessment [of the country],” said Arif Habib Corp analyst Ahsan Mehanti. “The government’s assurances for timely elections in the country, expansion plans announced by Pakistan Petroleum and the Nishat group, and hopes for easing political uncertainty affected sentiments [at the bourse],” said Mehanti.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.58% or 96.46 points to end at the 16,742.22 points level. Trade volumes improved to 91 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 86 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.08 billion.

“Lucky Cement and DG Khan Cement remained in the limelight as investors expect the sector to report higher earnings, as delayed winters have led to a 7.4% quarter-on-quarter growth in sector dispatches,” said an analyst note issued by Elixir Securities. “Renewed interest was seen in Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Oilfields, as higher oil price during the quarter is likely to result in higher earnings and payouts.”

“Askari Bank was one of the volume leaders today, closing little changed as investors booked gains after an over 10% rise [in the stock’s price] in [the] previous five trading sessions,” added the note.

Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 14.52 million shares, gaining Rs0.26 to finish at Rs15.76. It was followed by Askari Bank with 12.43 million shares traded, gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs18.85; and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 4.97 million shares, losing Rs0.06 to close at Rs15.05.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs507.33 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

“Foreign investments continued to flow in different sectors, as investors targeted stocks with cheap valuations and high yields,” said JS Global analyst Fahad Ali.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2013.

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