KARACHI: Retail investors and foreign buyers provided much-needed relief for the stock market on Wednesday as most of the major sectors closed in the green.
Political uncertainty, however, kept traded volumes low. Despite this, both steel and cement sectors saw considerable interest with institutional investors cherry-picking stocks across both categories.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered an increase of 209.94 points or 0.51% to settle at 41,259.16.
According to Elixir Securities, Pakistan equities closed positive with the benchmark KSE-100 index gaining half a per cent.
The market started the day on a lacklustre note as most investors seemed preoccupied with developments in domestic politics with an accountability court resuming separate hearings in corruption references against ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
In early trading, the benchmark index tested the 41,000-point support and later it gradually inched up driven by cherry-picking in stocks across cement, pharmaceutical, industrial and utility sectors.
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Despite overall turnover remaining flattish, retail activity showed a noticeable surge evident from decent volumes in second and third-tier plays.
On the leader board, Lucky Cement (+2.8%), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (+3.1%) and International Steels (+4.7%) occupied top slots while Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC, +3.3%), Japan Power (+17.2%) and K-Electric (+3.6%) emerged as volume leaders.
“We reiterate that flows from institutional investors will remain crucial for a sustained upside move in the near term,” the report added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the bourse opened on a negative note but value-buying helped the index recover later. It hit an intra-day high of +244 points.
The index closed higher by 210 points at 41,259. Given political uncertainty, volumes dropped to 97 million shares.
The steel sector flourished as Amreli Steels (+5%) and Crescent Steel and Allied Products (+5%) hit their respective upper circuits whereas International Steels (+4.69%) closed near its upper ceiling.
SSGC (+3.28%) led the volume charts with more than 8.7 million shares changing hands. K-Electric (+3.56%) gained on the back of news that the Power Division had asked the regulator to reconsider the earlier tariff revision in national interest.
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SSGC (+3.28%) led the volume charts with more than 8.7 mil
A rally was witnessed in the cement sector as heavyweights Lucky Cement (+2.84%), DG Khan Cement (+1.49%) and Fauji Cement (+1.30%) closed positive.
The auto sector continued its positive trend where Honda Atlas Cars (+2.39%), Pak Suzuki Motor Company (+3.15%) and Sazgar Engineering Works (+4.29%) rose on the back of expectations of improvement in auto sales numbers for October 2017.
“Moving forward, we expect the market to remain range bound in the short term and recommend investors to book profits on strength,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 97 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 106 million.
Shares of 378 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 205 stocks closed higher, 137 declined while 36 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.65 billion.
SSGC was the volume leader with 8.78 million shares, gaining Rs1.12 to close at Rs35.25. It was followed by Japan Power with 7.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.22 to close at Rs1.50 and K-Electric with 5.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.19 to close at Rs5.53.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs160 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.