KARACHI: The KSE-100 index on Tuesday made a recovery, led by selected stocks, on institutional interest amid upbeat data on trade deficit for Jul-Mar FY19, which shrank 14% and affirmation by the finance minister that the rupee had stabilised and economic growth would hit a 15-year high in FY23.
Higher urea prices, rising global crude oil rates and hopes for a positive outcome in the last round of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout helped the index remained in the black.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 208.06 points, or 0.56%, to settle at 37,129.97.
According to a Topline Securities' report, the KSE-100 index closed at 37,130 as the market gained some confidence on the back of improved economic data. As per media reports, the trade deficit contracted 14% on a year-on-year basis to $23.45 billion in 9MFY19.
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However, exports remained dull in March 2019 whereas imports went down 24% (or $1.3 billion) to $4 billion, which was nearly a 28-month low, stated the report.
Among major sectors, the cement sector continued its weak performance, erasing 61 points from the index, power sector rose 84 points and commercial banks also ended in the black after six trading sessions and added 56 points to the index.
As compared to Monday's dull session, traded volumes were up 50% to 161 million shares, which resulted in 45% higher trade value at $42 million, the report added.
According to a report of Arif Habib Limited, the market showed some signs of recovery, particularly in blue chips, which saw buying activity, pushing the index up.
Cement stocks such as Lucky Cement and DG Khan Cement showed some resilience and closed well above the day's low, it stated, adding Maple Leaf Cement, on the contrary, showed major activity at its lower circuit and ended the day at that level.
The cement sector led the volumes with trading in 40 million shares, contributed mainly by Maple Leaf Cement (15.6 million shares).
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Sectors that contributed to the market's performance included power (+84 points), banks (+56 points), oil and gas marketing companies (+38 points), pharmaceuticals (+20 points), exploration and production (+16 points) and cement (-61 points).
Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included Unity Foods (R), Maple Leaf Cement, Fauji Cement, K-Electric and WorldCall Telecom, which accounted for 37% of total volumes, the report stated.
Stocks that contributed positively included Hubco (+61 points), UBL (+37 points), PSO (+23 points), National Bank (+19 points) and Engro (+17 points). On the other hand, stocks that contributed negatively included Lucky Cement (-25 points), HBL (-16 points), Fauji Fertiliser Company (-13 points), Fauji Cement (-11 points) and Dawood Hercules (-11 points).
Overall, trading volumes increased to 160.5 million shares compared with Monday's tally of 107 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.9 billion.
Shares of 350 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 174 stocks closed higher, 149 declined and 27 remained unchanged.
Unity Foods (R) was the volume leader with 15.9 million shares, losing Rs0.77 to close at Rs2.78. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 15.6 million shares, losing Rs1.6 to close at Rs32.65 and Fauji Cement with 11.4 million shares, losing Rs0.68 to close at Rs17.8.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs54.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.