Market watch: Oil and cement garner attention as KSE-100 gains 0.57%

Benchmark index increases 244.49 points to close at 43,239.45

Our Correspondent February 28, 2018
Benchmark index increases 244.49 points to close at 43,239.45. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The stock market finished on a positive note on Wednesday with the benchmark index surpassing the 43,200 mark after staying in the black throughout the day.

The KSE-100 surged 329 points as soon as trading began, hitting an intraday high of 43,323.18, before minor profit-taking erased the gains.

However, index-heavy oil and cement stocks lent support, helping the index recover to close positive for the second successive session.

On the political front, Shehbaz Sharif was elected as acting president of PML-N, a development that provided clarity to investors.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 244.49 points or 0.57% to settle at 43,239.45.

Market watch: Stock market snaps two-day losing streak

JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said major heavyweights, namely OGDC (+0.56%), PPL (+2.44%), ENGRO (+1.75%), LUCK (+1.97%) and HUBC (+1.48%) cumulatively contributed 143 points to the index.

"Banks came under pressure as HBL (-0.64%), ABL (-1.06%) and UBL (-1.07%) led the decline following the Supreme Court ruling, directing the aforementioned banks to immediately raise the minimum pension to Rs8,000 per month. The payments will be prospective, that is, from the date of the judgment.

"Moreover, FABL (+3.25%) closed in the green as the bank has announced full year 2017 EPS at Rs3.42 up 5% YoY. The bank also announced 15% bonus for 2017, with no cash payout," Ladhani remarked.

"On the positive side, OMCs drove the index where PSO (+2.73%) SHEL (+1.87%) closed in the green, as prices of high-speed diesel (HSD) and petrol likely to increase by almost Rs7 and Rs4 per litre due to increased rates in the international market.

Market watch: Stock market starts week on disappointing note

"Moving forward, we expect the market to remain positive with flows from local institutions and foreigners directing the market," he added.

Overall, trading volumes increases to 151 million shares compared with Tuesday's tally of 145 million.

Shares of 378 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 193 stocks closed higher, 165 declined while 20 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.1 billion.

Byco Petroleum was the volume leader with 15.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.66 to close at Rs15.72. It was followed by Agritech Limited with 14.6 million shares, losing Rs0.17 to close at Rs7.68 and Azgard Nine with 8.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.94 to close at Rs17.55.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs2.4 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.