KARACHI: Stocks bounced back with a bang on Monday, helping the benchmark index surge 468 points in intra-day trading and end a four-day losing streak.
After a sideways open, the KSE-100 Index shot up and despite a few dips, it advanced to touch the intra-day high at 43,479.50 points.
Attractive valuations encouraged investors to resume buying, which supported the index in maintaining the positive ride. Cement, oil, banking and steel sectors remained in the limelight as they recorded the most buying.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 399.66 points or 0.93% to settle at 43,410.93.
According to a Topline Securities’ report, the KSE-100 was led by a rally in the cement and exploration and production sectors on the first trading day of the week.
“The cement sector remained in the spotlight as manufacturers once again raised prices by Rs10 per bag. Consequently, the sector added 110 points to the index’s gain,” the report said.
The exploration and production sector further fuelled the index’s advance with the contribution of 80 points following a $2 per barrel rise in crude oil prices due to reduced US drilling activity.
Rebar manufacturers gained momentum as Amreli Steels and Mughal Iron and Steel gained 1.6% to 2% in the wake of a hike in local rebar prices by Rs3,000 per ton (3.5%).
The broader market index recorded a fall of 22% and 26% in traded volumes and value, respectively.
Top five stocks including Oil and Gas Development Company (+2.1%), Lucky Cement (+2.6%), United Bank Limited (+1.7%), DG Khan Cement (+4.3%) and Pakistan Oilfields (+2%) added 178 points to the index whereas MCB Bank (-1%), Nestle (-0.4%), Murree Brewery (-1.1%), Ghani Glass (-1.3%) and Jahangir Siddiqui Company (-1.6%) erased 26 points from the index.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the market started off sideways, but it picked up later on the back of gains led by the cement sector, hitting an intra-day high of 468 points.
“On the economic front, Pakistan’s trade deficit showed an increase of 21% YoY during 8MFY18, where imports grew 17% and exports increased 12%,” Mulla said.
The steel sector gained on the back of rumours of increase in steel prices by different companies. Aisha Steel (+2.94%), Amreli Steels (+1.96%) and International Steels (+1.86%) were major gainers of the sector.
Investors’ interest was witnessed in the cement sector as heavyweights such as Lucky Cement (+2.55%), DG Khan Cement (+4.31%), Fauji Cement (+3.08%) and Maple Leaf Cement (+2.64%) contributed 96 points to the index.
“Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile and dull with flows from local institutions and foreigners guiding the direction,” the analyst added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 109 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 139 million.
Shares of 360 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 208 stocks closed higher, 131 declined while 21 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.5 billion.
Lotte Chemical was the volume leader with 12.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.30 to close at Rs9.02. It was followed by Unity Foods with 9.6 million shares, losing Rs0.51 to close at Rs27.99 and Nimir Resins with 7.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.91 to close at Rs8.20.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs189 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.