Market watch: Foreigners net buyers again, KSE-100 climbs 592 points

Benchmark-100 index rises 1.4% to close at 42,939.68


Our Correspondent January 16, 2018
Benchmark-100 index rises 1.4% to close at 42,939.68. PHOTO: PPI / FILE

KARACHI: Stocks returned to winning ways on Tuesday as the KSE-100 Index surged close to 795 points in intra-day trading before minor profit-taking erased some of the gains.

The index still ended with an increase of 592.19 points or 1.4% to finish at 42,939.68 points.

The index shot up as soon as trading began with investors buying in sectors across the board. The buying spree lent support to the index, as it managed to cross the 43,100 barrier. Foreigners were again net buyers as the trend in 2018 continued.

However, cautious over the upcoming planned protests by major political parties, investors opted to book gains and await clarity as the weekend nears.

Elixir Securities' analyst Muhammad Arbash said Pakistan equities resumed gains on Tuesday after a three-day hiatus with the benchmark KSE-100 finishing a stone's throw away from 43,000 level.

"The market opened on a positive note and traded higher during the day as sentiments were boosted not only due to sizeable foreign inflow in the last couple of sessions but positives on domestic political front also helped as PAT chairman announced holding only a one-day protest on Wednesday against market expectations of a long sit-in," Arbash remarked.

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Major sectors namely financials, oils and steels along with select cements contributed to day's surge primarily on reported buying from local institutions. Habib Bank (HBL PA +3.9%) topped the leader board followed by Lucky Cement (LUCK PA +3.4%) and Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC PA +2.2%) while most dent came from Sui Northern Gas Company (SNGP PA -3.7%) on profit-taking.

Meanwhile, the national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIAA PA +6.9%) extended gains for the second day on optimism over its early privatisation.

"We see volatile trading on Wednesday with participants closely monitoring the political development and seeking clarification on the next course of action against the government as cleric-led PAT along with opposition parties hold protest."

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said bulls dominated Tuesday's trading session on the back of strong participation from local investors.

A rally was witnessed in the banking space where big banks boosted the index by 180 points. HBL (+3.9%), MCB (+2.0%), UBL (+0.9%) and BAFL (+1.2%) closed higher than their previous day close. Crude oil prices edged higher in the international market and as a result POL (+2.6%), OGDC (+2.2%) and PPL (+1.4%) from the E&P sector closed in the green trajectory.

Investors opted for value buying in the cement sector where LUCK (+3.4%), PIOC (+4.5%), DGKC (+1.8%) and KOHC (+2.0%) increased the most.

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"Moving forward, we expect the market to remain range bound on the back of political fiasco and recommend investors to accumulate stocks on dips," Mulla commented.

Overall, trading volume increased to 161 million shares, compared with Monday's tally of 130 million.

Shares of 367 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 227 stocks closed higher, 116 declined while 16 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.2 billion.

PIAC (A) was the volume leader with 15.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.25 to close at Rs5.72. It was followed by Faysal Bank with 11.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.48 to close at Rs24.19 and Dewan Cement with 8.5 million shares, gaining Rs1.06 to close at Rs22.32.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs627 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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