KARACHI: The stock market continued its upward drive for the ninth consecutive trading day, as better cement sales and news of progress on a crude pact to restrict supplies bolstered investor confidence at the bourse.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s KSE-100 index on Monday rose 1.79% or 580.86 points to end at 33,022.60.
According to JS Global analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan, the positive momentum continued for the ninth successive session.
“Positivity in the market was mainly attributed to cement and oil sectors on the back of a 30% year-on-year increase in local cement dispatches for February and surging global crude oil prices. Star performers of the sectors were Pakistan Petroleum (+3.79%), Oil and Gas Development Company (+3.34%), Attock Cement (+5%) and Maple Leaf Cement (+3.53%).
“Engro Foods (+5%) opened at its upper circuit for the third straight day on the back of news that FrieslandCampina International intends to buy a majority stake in the company.”
Interest was also witnessed in the banking sector, as major stocks like Habib Bank (+2.12%) and United Bank (+1.14%) closed in the green zone.
“Moving forward, we expect the bull-run to continue, though some bouts of profit-taking can be expected at these levels,” Khan said.
Meanwhile, Elixir Securities’ analyst Faisal Bilwani said equities rallied past 33,000 points and managed to close above the major psychological level for the first time since early January.
“The most encouraging sign is the noticeable improvement in turnover with the value being 46% higher than the average of last week and 70% higher than last month.
“Monday’s gains were broad-based as institutions remained net buyers in an attempt to ride in the current run.”
Oil shares took early lead with investors primarily tracking the weekend rally in international crude while cement stocks posted a strong rally midday as investors cheered the release of local sales figures last week.
“Moreover, Engro Foods maintained the winning streak and closed at its upper price limit for the third day in a row post-announcement of stake sale plans while morning news of expansion by the dairy segment kept profit-takers at bay.”
Trading volumes rose to 203 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 150 million.
Shares of 364 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 250 stocks closed higher, 82 declined while 32 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs12 billion.
Jahangir Siddiqui and Co was the volume leader with 14.8 million shares gaining Rs0.80 to finish at Rs22.13. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 14.6 million shares gaining Rs1.31 to close at Rs27.65 and PTCL with 10.7 million shares gaining Rs0.93 to close at Rs14.82.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs614 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2016.
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