Market watch: Stocks rally as investors welcome new economic team

Published: April 19, 2019
Benchmark index soars 480.61 points to settle at 37,292.47. PHOTO: AFP

Benchmark index soars 480.61 points to settle at 37,292.47. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The stock market staged a handsome rally on Friday and rose over 900 points in intraday trading as clarity emerged on the political front following a major cabinet reshuffle.

Although bearish activity erupted towards the end of the session, but the bourse managed to sustain most of the gains.

Earlier, trading kicked off on a positive note as renewed buying, buoyed by strong investor sentiments, helped maintain the uptrend in the market. The first session ended with a rise of 620 points.

Despite Asad Umar’s exit, KSE-100 manages to rise

The second session also opened with a spike, but some of the gains were wiped out later in the day. Automobile, fertiliser and financial stocks got support from strong investor sentiments and most of the stocks in these sectors remained in the positive zone.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 480.61 points, or 1.31%, to settle at 37,292.47.

Topline Securities CEO Mohammad Sohail, while talking to The Express Tribune, said market players welcomed the new economic team amid hopes of a smooth entry into an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme and serious efforts to overcome economic challenges.

Seasoned stockbrokers Aqeel Karim Dhedhi and Arif Habib, however, pointed out that investors made fresh buying following the State Bank of Pakistan’s statement that government deposits of Rs1.9 trillion were not being transferred from commercial banks to a central bank account.

They also highlighted that stock prices had dropped to around three-year lows, which “encouraged investors to resort to renewed buying”.

The stockbrokers found no connection between the renewed buying at the bourse and removal of Asad Umar from the post of finance minister a day ago.

KSE-100 falls over 600 points in panic selling led by banking sector

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 177.4 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 216.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.6 billion.

Shares of 334 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 241 stocks closed higher, 78 declined and 15 remained unchanged.

The Bank of Punjab (XD) was the volume leader with 28.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.99 to close at Rs12.61. It was followed by K-Electric with 13.6 million shares, losing Rs0.03 to close at Rs5.03 and Unity Foods with 10.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.50 to close at Rs12.35.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs83.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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