KARACHI: The stock market continued on Monday its upward trend for the fourth straight trading session. Sentiments remained positive as institutions stepped in to scoop up stocks at relatively low prices.
Cement stocks benefited from the positive mood, while the historic low banking spreads meant an unimpressive response in the related shares.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s KSE-100 index rose 0.24% or 75.43 points to end at 31,369.51.
According to Elixir Securities analyst Ali Raza, the equities closed marginally positive after trading range bound as investor interest remained selective.
“Stocks opened sideways tracking lower regional markets, while index-heavy exploration and production companies witnessed correction as global crude consolidated at current levels.
“Engro Fertilizers (+4%) and Engro Corp (+2.1%) traded higher on media reports of government diverting 60 mmcfd of gas to the urea plant indefinitely.”
Cement shares inched upwards on institutional buying with Fecto Cement (+5%) closing at its upper price limit for the second consecutive session on announcement of better earnings and pay-out on Friday. Lucky Cement (+3.8%) also traded higher to hit its upper limit intra-day on excitement over improved local demand.
“Hub Power (+3%) contributed the most to the KSE-100 index as institutions built positions on a favourable stock outlook.”
Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan said volatility persisted as the index swung between positive 140.53 points and negative 74.94 points to finally close in the black. “Volatility in the local market can be attributed to volatility in the global crude oil prices. PSO (-1.10%) ended in the red on news of circular debt swelling to Rs300 billion.”
“Commercial banking sector also remained bearish due to banking spreads reaching the lowest in 11 years.”
The rally in Engro Fertilizers came on the back of a news report saying that 60 mmcfd of gas would be permanently reverted to the fertiliser unit.
Trade volumes rose to 130 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 125 million.
Shares of 327 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 124 stocks closed higher, 183 declined while 20 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.2 billion.
Pace (Pak) Limited was the volume leader with 15.1 million shares gaining Rs0.07 to finish at Rs6.19. It was followed by Power Cement with 11.1 million shares gaining Rs0.94 to close at Rs9.69 and Jahangir Siddiqui & Co with 8 million shares gaining Rs0.12 to close at Rs20.52.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs219 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the NCCPL.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2016.
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