Market watch: Cement sector shines as KSE-100 rises 271 points

Benchmark index increases 0.63% to close at 43,510.39


Our Correspondent March 01, 2018
Benchmark index increases 0.63% to close at 43,510.39. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: It was a good day for the Pakistan stock market as the benchmark index continued to rally for the third successive session and closed above 43,500 points.

Cement, auto and refinery stocks exhibited buying interest which pushed the index forward.

There was movement of 458 points in intra-day trading as the index opened on a positive note climbing 338 points and later it dipped slightly after investors resorted to profit-taking. Afterwards, the index once again began advancing to hit an intra-day high of 43,634.10 points.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 270.94 points or 0.63% to settle at 43,510.39.

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According to Elixir Securities’ analyst Zainul Abedin, Pakistan equities closed in the black that took the benchmark KSE-100 Index above 43,500.

“The market carried on with its advance after a sideways opening, driven mainly by sharp gains in cement stocks on reported strong institutional flows post-increase in cement prices in the northern region in February backed by pickup in demand,” Abedin remarked.

Other key sectors namely financial, exploration and production, and fertiliser traded mixed, however, sideboard names from steel and pharma closed higher and generated good activity.

“[We] expect the market to build on Thursday’s momentum and trade with a positive bias on Friday with the KSE-100 Index likely retesting 43,800,” the analyst said.

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Overall, trading volumes increases to 212 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 151 million.

Shares of 378 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 229 stocks closed higher, 125 declined while 24 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.3 billion.

Lotte Chemical was the volume leader with 11.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.09 to close at Rs8.93. It was followed by DG Khan Cement with 10.8 million shares, gaining Rs5.80 to close at Rs149.51 and Aisha Steel Mills with 9.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.73 to close at Rs21.53.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs336.8 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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