Market watch: Political clarity drives KSE-100 Index up

Published: March 13, 2018
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Benchmark index gains 207.15 points to close at 43,618.08. PHOTO: FILE

Benchmark index gains 207.15 points to close at 43,618.08. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Stocks continued to ride on positive momentum for the second successive session on Tuesday as the benchmark index rose 353 points in intra-day trading.

The appointment of Senate chairman helped clear the air on the political front, which encouraged investors to resume active buying. Cement, steel and chemical stocks generated interest and helped the index move higher.

The KSE-100 maintained a steady ascent through the day and managed to touch 43,707 points. Following a brief slip, the index finished the day above 43,600.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 207.15 points or 0.48% to settle at 43,618.08.

Elixir Securities’ analyst Muhammad Arbash said Pakistan equities rose for the second consecutive session with the benchmark index settling above 43,600.

“Activity also jumped by nearly half compared to Monday and turnover in the wider market came in at $61 million,” he said.

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Public gas utilities came in the limelight and moved up on news that the government was considering increasing gas prices by 5-7%. Sui Southern Gas Company rose 2.5% while Sui Northern Gas Pipelines gained 1%.

Cement stocks closed mixed but saw some good exchange of hands following another round of increase in prices in the northern region.

Financial stocks were positive with United Bank (+0.6%) and MCB Bank (+1.3%) leading gains in the sector on reported foreign buying.

“[We] expect the market to build on Tuesday’s momentum and the KSE-100 Index to test 44,000 psychological barrier. Clarity on the political front and possible announcement of an amnesty scheme can boost investor confidence going forward,” the analyst said.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said Pakistan equities maintained their positive momentum with the benchmark KSE-100 hitting an intra-day high of 296 points and settling at 43,618.

On the political front, Sadiq Sanjrani, an independent candidate from Balochistan, was elected Senate chairman.

“Major contribution to market volumes came from Azgard Nine (+5.75%), Nimir Resins (+3.54%) and Pak Elektron (+1.66%) that contributed 25 million shares out of the turnover of 152 million in the All-Share Index,” he said.

The exploration and production sector closed higher as crude oil prices edged up in the international market. Pakistan Oilfields (+1.01%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.26%) were major gainers of the sector.

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The steel sector continued to show positive momentum on the back of Monday’s rumours of an increase in steel prices. International Industries (+2.05%), Mughal Iron and Steel (+2.87%) and Amreli Steels (+1.01%) remained in the green zone.

“Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile and dull with flows from local institutions and foreigners guiding the direction,” he added.

Overall, trading volumes increased to 152 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 109 million.

Shares of 365 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 220 stocks closed higher, 126 declined while 19 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.8 billion.

Azgard Nine was the volume leader with nine million shares, gaining Rs0.84 to close at Rs15.46. It was followed by Nimir Resins with 8.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.29 to close at Rs8.49 and Pak Elektron with 8.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.74 to close at Rs45.22.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs154 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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