Market watch: Bourse continues recovery as tensions ease

Published: March 21, 2013

At the end of the day, 160 stocks closed higher, 134 declined, while 39 remained unchanged.

KARACHI: The bourse continued in recovery mode for a second session on Wednesday, as positive signals from the political front came as a relief for investors.

“Stocks closed higher amid investor speculations ahead of the appointment of a caretaker prime minister by the parliamentary committee,” said Ahsan Mehanti, analyst at Arif Habib Corp.

“Institutional interest was witnessed in selected blue-chip stocks across the board, led by cement, fertilisers and oil scrips, after a recovery in global stocks and commodities,” he added.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index climbed 0.34% or 60.60 points to end at the 17,753.97 points level. Trade volumes surged to 266 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 163 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.59 billion.

“Pakistan equities gained momentum [...] over the president’s official announcement for elections to be held on May 11, 2013,” said Elixir Securities’ Harris Ahmed Batla. “The momentum helped Engro Corp continue its recovery, driving its parent company Dawood Hercules to close in the green zone. Cements also gained interest, led by DG Khan Cement, which hit the upper price limit.”

Shares of 333 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day, 160 stocks closed higher, 134 declined, while 39 remained unchanged.

Lafarge Pakistan (LPCL) was the volume leader with 43.73 million shares, gaining Rs0.59 to finish at Rs6.59. “LPCL stood tall as the volume leader on reporting positive results for the full year ended December 2012, after a loss was reported in the same period of the preceding year,” reported Fahad Ali, analyst at JS Global.

The two other volume leaders were Pakistan Telecommunication with 28.77 million shares, losing Rs0.66 to close at Rs19.65; and TRG Pakistan with 26.44 million shares, gaining Rs0.20 to close at Rs7.08.

“Telecoms were seen in the firing line with Pakistan Telecom and Telecard losing ground after rumours that the Supreme Court had vacated a stay against show cause notices issued earlier by the Competition Commission of Pakistan [against the International Clearing House],” reported Batla.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs259.35 million worth of securities, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2013.

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