Market watch: Late buying helps bourse recover from early blows

KSE-100 index edges up 8.49 points to settle at 40,733.45


Our Correspondent October 18, 2017
Oil and banking sector lead the increase in addition to rumours of foreign buying. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The stock market underwent a miraculous recovery just before close on Wednesday, avoiding a loss of over 500 points, with DG Khan Cement’s positive earnings announcement attracting massive buying.

As soon as the trading began in the morning, the benchmark KSE-100 index dropped because of a lack of investor interest and political uncertainty.

After touching the day’s low at 40,224.20 points, it skyrocketed to a high of 40,872.48 points before settling at 40,733.45, marginally above previous day’s close with a rise of 8.49 points or 0.02%

Elixir Securities, in its report, stated Pakistan equities remained steady after recouping losses on late buying in index names primarily cement stocks.

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“As the day began, the market traded dull with the benchmark KSE-100 index on a steady sinking path, testing lows at 40,225 (down 1.23%) on anxiety over domestic politics and no major interest,” the report said.

DG Khan Cement’s (DGKC, +3.5%) surprise earnings turned the tide and helped swing the mood with Lucky Cement (+4.2%) also attracting fresh flows and hitting the upper price limit in intra-day trading.

Investors welcomed the fresh wave as nearly half the turnover came in the last 30 minutes and the wider market pushed higher with momentum.

“While key earnings announcements due tomorrow (Thursday) may attract selective attention, investors will keenly follow court proceedings where former PM Nawaz Sharif will likely be indicted on corruption charges, which will keep domestic politics in the limelight in the days ahead,” it added.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said bears dominated the bourse for most part of the day on the back of political uncertainty as the index lost 501 points during the day.

“However, recovery was seen in the last 30 minutes as value investors took the opportunity to cherry-pick stocks at attractive prices, pushing the index upwards,” he said.

Volumes declined to 138 million shares compared to 167 million during the previous trading session. Engro Polymer (+4.82%) led the volumes chart with 21 million shares changing hands.

DG Khan Cement (+3.45%) announced its 1QFY18 results, posting earnings per share of Rs6.48. The earnings were in sharp contrast to the street consensus as tax reversal to the tune of Rs1,106 million (assuming normal effective tax of 30%) were booked by the company.

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Engro Polymer from the chemical sector declared its results for 3Q2017 where the company posted earnings per share of Rs2.93 and declared dividend per share of Rs0.45.

The exploration and production sector also closed higher as crude prices inched up to near their strongest level in around three weeks. Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+0.77%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.47%) were major gainers of the sector.

A rally was seen in the cement sector on the back of news that cement prices had been increased by about Rs15-20 per bag in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Lucky Cement (+4.24%), Cherat Cement (+1.01%), Fauji Cement (+2.69%), DG Khan Cement (+3.45%) and Kohat Cement (+2.22%) cumulatively contributed +98 points to the index.

“(We) expect such volatility and recommend investors to remain cautious unless economic indicators and prevailing political scenario improve,” he added.

Overall, trading volumes fell to 138 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 166 million.

Shares of 370 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 121 stocks closed higher, 229 declined while 20 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.18 billion.

Engro Polymer was the volume leader with 21.2 million shares, gaining Rs1.58 to close at Rs34.33. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 8.9 million shares, losing Rs0.19 to close at Rs12.53 and Aisha Steel Mills with 8.8 million shares, losing Rs0.07 to close at Rs18.09.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs9.7 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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