Market watch: Stocks attract interest as volumes hit 5-month high

Benchmark KSE-100 index rises 358.8 points

Our Correspondent April 04, 2016
Benchmark KSE-100 index rises 358.8 points.

KARACHI: The stock market saw a resurgence of interest on Monday as trade volumes shattered the glass ceiling of 200 million developed over the past few months and went close to 300 million.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark KSE-100 index rose 1.07% or 358.80 points to end at 33,808.42.

According to Elixir Securities’ analyst Ali Raza, equities gained sharply to settle above 33,800 as positive sentiment supported broad-based gains and helped carry the momentum from Friday.

“Activity remained upbeat as turnover on the KSE-100 index was 54% higher than last week’s average while volumes were highest in the last five months despite stocks opening sideways with exploration and production sector dragging down the benchmark on lower global crude. Buying from institutions on renewed interest supported the wider market.”

Pakistan State Oil (+4.6%) traded near its upper price limit and contributed most points to the day’s gains as investors cheered record sales in the last quarter. “Cement and fertiliser stocks continued their northbound ride with DG Khan Cement (+3.4%) and Maple Leaf Cement (+2.5%) closing at record highs, while Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim (+5%) hit the upper price limit after notifying the exchange of the commercial operation date of its meat subsidiary.”

Moreover, small and mid-caps caught up with the gains in the wider market as retail investors rushed to hunt quick trade opportunities.

Meanwhile, the Topline Market Review stated that positive sentiments prevailed at the bourse as news of Pakistan’s possible inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Market continued to attract investor attention.

“Traded value rose 1% at Rs9.7 billion ($11.6 million) after the regulator eased requirements for the margin financing system.”

Stocks in the cement sector continued to attract investor attention in anticipation of healthy sales and growth in gross margins. Maple Leaf Cement, DG Khan Cement and Fauji Cement gained 2.3-3.2%.

“Fauji Fertilizer (FFBL) closed at its upper limit after it announced commercial operations of Fauji Meat Ltd, a subsidiary company. Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) which holds 49.8% in FFBL followed the trend as it closed up 2.2%.”

Healthy oil sales sparked interest in Pakistan State Oil and Hascol Petroleum, which increased 4.5% and 1.9%, respectively. Trade volumes rose to 292 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 204 million.

Shares of 357 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 229 stocks closed higher, 109 declined while 19 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.6 billion.

K-Electric was the volume leader with 31.7 million shares gaining Rs0.07 to finish at Rs7.21. It was followed by Dewan Cement with 20.4 million shares gaining Rs1 to close at Rs15.08 and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 18.9 million shares gaining Rs0.70 to close at Rs22.84.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs158 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2016.

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