KARACHI: Stocks performed remarkably well on Wednesday as the benchmark index surged past 44,100 points, ending its fifth successive session in the black.
Although the KSE-100 Index opened on a positive note, it briefly slipped into the negative territory. However, a strong recovery came on the back of heavy buying by the insurance industry.
Activity picked up significantly as investors took to buying in droves. Buying spree in heavyweight stocks contributed to the rally in the market.
Additionally, the interim finance ministry’s decision to initiate policy-level dialogue with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlighted the current government’s willingness to address issues relating to twin deficits and declining foreign exchange reserves on a high priority basis, which spurred investors’ interest.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 441.62 points or 1.01% to settle at 44,144.20.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said equities continued to remain on positive trajectory with the benchmark KSE-100 Index closing up at 44,144.
“The bourse kicked off the day with sideways trading in early hours, but rallied later, hitting intra-day low and high of -23 points and +468 points respectively,” he said.
Major heavyweights namely Habib Bank (+4.84%), MCB Bank (+0.95%), United Bank (+4.90%), Lucky Cement (+2.30%) and Fauji Fertiliser Company (+0.12%) cumulatively contributed +269 points.
Financial stocks were once again in the limelight where United Bank (+4.90%) and Bank AL Habib (+5%) were amongst major gainers of the sector.
“A rally was seen in banking stocks as caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar gave the go-ahead for holding policy-level dialogue with the IMF and a Fund’s mission is expected to visit Islamabad for gauging economic health of the country by the end of ongoing month,” Ladhani added.
Other major banks such as Habib Bank (+4.84%), MCB Bank (+0.95%), Bank Alfalah (+2.31%) and National Bank (+1.30%) also went up.
Mixed sentiments were witnessed in the cement sector where Lucky Cement (+2.30%), Kohat Cement (+0.96%) and Maple Leaf Cement (+0.25%) advanced whereas DG Khan Cement (-1.56%) and Fauji Cement (-0.96%) were in the red.
“Moving forward, we expect the market to remain positive with flows from local and foreign institutions guiding direction,” the analyst said.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 223.4 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 166.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.9 billion.
Shares of 346 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 170 stocks closed higher, 151 declined while 25 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 58.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.78 to close at Rs13.07. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 15.4 million shares, gaining Rs1.44 to close at Rs30.43 and Lotte Chemical with 10.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.45 to close at Rs11.54.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs879.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.