Market watch: Stocks gain as crude oil, regional markets provide impetus

Benchmark KSE-100 index rises 66.67 points

Our Correspondent March 18, 2016
Benchmark KSE-100 index rises 66.67 points. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: The benchmark-100 index ended near the 33,000-point mark as stocks retreated after opening higher. The early boost was provided by regional markets and gain in crude oil prices before profit-taking kicked in.

At close on Thursday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark KSE-100 index rose 0.20% or 66.67 points to end at 32,957.75.

Elixir Securities analyst Ali Raza said equities closed marginally positive in volatile trading where most of the morning gains that pushed the index to test 33,100 in early trade were wiped off.

“Stocks opened gap up as participants tracked the regional markets which largely gained,” said Raza.  “This was after US Federal Reserve’s kept interest rates unchanged while index heavy oils also landed support after the latest recovery in global crude.

“The benchmark index failed to sustain gains and gradually filled the gap to settle near 32,950. Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC, +2.24%) and Pakistan Petroleum (PPL, +1.92%) closed positive and cumulatively contributed 50 points to Thursday’s gains.

“Lucky Cement (LUCK, +1.65%) and Engro Corp (ENGRO, +1.23%) contributed 20 and 18 points respectively.

“Hi-Tech Lubricants (HTL,+5%), the newly listed company at PSX, hit upper price limit after it notified exchange of its intention to venture into the oil marketing business.”

JS Global analyst Arham Ghous said positive momentum continued as the index rallied around 67 points to close in the green zone for the second consecutive day. “Positivity in the market can be attributed to a strong move upwards in global markets and increase in crude oil prices,” said Ghous.

“Stocks in the exploration and production sector led gains as OGDC (2.24%), POL (3.08%) and PPL (1.92%) extended their previous day moves, on the back of crude oil prices surging to above $39/bbl (WTI).”

“Byco Petroleum closed on its upper circuit on back of the material information disseminated in the market that meeting of its board of directors will be held on 24th of march to consider possible merger of Byco Terminal Pakistan Limited into its parent company Byco Oil Pakistan Limited.

“Fatima Fertilizer Company closed on its lower circuit for the second consecutive day, as the fertiliser manufacturer in its financial result paid no dividend against market expectation of Rs3/share.”

Trade volumes fell to 143 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 182 million.

Shares of 341 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 149 stocks closed higher, 160 declined while 32 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.8 billion.

BYCO was the volume leader with 8.2 million shares, gaining Rs1 to finish at Rs18.20. It was followed by NIB Bank Limited with 8.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs2.06 and K-Electric Limited with 7.1 million shares, losing Rs0.09 to close at Rs6.97.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs126 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2016.

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