Market watch: KSE-100 gains 237 points, led by auto, oil, bank

Benchmark index rises 0.6% to settle at 39,543.77

Our Correspondent January 21, 2019
Benchmark index rises 0.6% to settle at 39,543.77. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The stock market advanced on Monday, led by auto, oil and bank stocks on attractive valuations.

The KSE-100 index opened up in the wake of higher global crude oil prices, speculation about the outcome of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Qatar and likely announcement of tax reforms in the upcoming mini-budget, which pushed the index above 39,500 points.

Expectations of a likely cut in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in the mini-budget, which was expected on January 23, put cement stocks under pressure.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 237.27 points, or 0.6%, to settle at 39,543.77.

Market watch: Stocks gain 63 points in see-saw session

Elixir Securities' analyst Murtaza Jafar said equities closed in the black with the KSE-100 index settling at 39,544 points. He said the market kicked off on a positive note, driven up by gains in international crude oil prices.

Pakistan Oilfields (+1.91%), Oil and Gas Development Company (+1.87%) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+2.63%) posted gains. Financial and auto stocks followed suit with Habib Bank Limited (+2.89%), United Bank Limited (+2.16%), MCB Bank (+0.81%), Honda Atlas Cars (+5%) and Pak Suzuki Motor Company (+5%) pushing the benchmark index higher.

"On the flip side, cement stocks traded under pressure due to expected increase in federal excise duty on cement prices. Lucky Cement (-1.61%), DG Khan Cement (-2.89%) and Maple Leaf Cement (-3.45%) remained in the red," he said, adding National Refinery (-5%) and Attock Refinery (-4.99%) hit their lower circuits following dismal financial results, where they posted loss per share of Rs34.91 and Rs27.25 (consolidated Rs24.42) respectively.

"We anticipate the market will remain focused on developments related to the supplementary budget and the prime minister's trip to Qatar, where possible developments include talks on deferring LNG payments to ease off pressure on the external account in the short term, the analyst added.

Weekly review: KSE-100 index posts gains for third successive week

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 124.49 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 155 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.97 billion.

Shares of 340 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 162 stocks closed higher, 158 declined and 20 remained unchanged.

K-Electric was the volume leader with 19.09 million shares, gaining Rs0.12 to close at Rs6.57. It was followed by Fauji Foods with 10.13 million shares, losing Rs1.77 to close at Rs33.63 and The Bank of Punjab with 5.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.07 to close at Rs12.9.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs89.5 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.


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