KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) snapped a three-day losing spell and escalated on Thursday following emergence of slight clarity on the economic front.
The government hinted on Wednesday at presenting another mini-budget in January 2019 as the current level of fiscal deficit was unsustainable.
The market opened upwards but it remained volatile in early hours. The volatility eased after midday and then the bourse rose steadily, finishing the day above the 38,200-point mark. Index-heavy stocks of automobile, cement and fertiliser sectors gained on the back of revived investor sentiments.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 173.37 points or 0.46% to settle at 38,236.52.
Market watch: KSE-100 falls on concern over foreign outflows
Elixir Securities' analyst Murtaza Jafar said in line with the initial view, the KSE-100 index closed higher by 173 points at 38,237, breaking its three-day bearish streak.
The movement in Pakistan equities was in sharp contrast to the decline in global markets, which came under additional pressure due to a hawkish outlook portrayed by the US Federal Reserve, though most leading indicators showed signs of a significant global economic slowdown ahead.
"The bulk of gains at the PSX came from chemical and fertiliser sectors," he said. "Engro (+3.32%), Dawood Hercules (+2.65%) and Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim (+2.82%) collectively added 89 points to the index."
On the volume charts, Pakistan Telecommunication Company (-2.83%) and Pak Elektron (+5%) recorded cumulative trading of 20.2 million shares.
"The former remained under pressure on unconfirmed media reports of an unfavourable decision by the Islamabad High Court in an ongoing case on pension payments; our discussions with the company management, however, reveal that they have not received any such judgement," he said.
Market watch: KSE-100 falls amid sharply lower trading volumes
"[We] expect the market to find support around 38,000 as foreign institutional investors (FII) go for annual holidays ahead of Christmas and New Year."
However, the analyst added, the FTSE's re-balancing scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) may lead to additional trading activity of around $10 million by passive funds.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 136.7 million shares compared with Wednesday's tally of 101 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.19 billion.
Shares of 342 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 212 stocks closed higher, 109 declined and 21 remained unchanged.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company was the volume leader with 11.84 million shares, losing Rs0.28 to close at Rs9.63. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 8.42 million shares, gaining Rs1.28 to close at Rs26.89 and K-Electric with 8.36 million shares, gaining Rs0.04 to close at Rs5.99.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs399.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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