KARACHI: Bulls held their ground at the stock market on Wednesday as the benchmark KSE-100 index extended gains and moved closer to the 31,000-point mark.
Overall, in the past three days, the market has gained over 2,200 points.
The index shot up as soon as trading began and rose at a steady pace throughout the day, buoyed by strong investor sentiment and optimism. The market crossed the 31,000-point mark briefly before late session selling dragged it down. A few dips, seen during the session, were corrected timely.
According to Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corp, upbeat data on the current account deficit, which shrank 73% to $579 million in July 2019, lent support.
Investor hopes after the US expressed the resolve to end Pakistan-India conflict over Kashmir, new appointments at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and rupee stability played the role of catalysts in bullish close of the market, he added.
Owing to positivity during trading hours, automobile, cement and exploration and production sectors remained in the green.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 553.53 points, or 1.82%, to settle at 30,972.75 points.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said equities gained and recovered further in Wednesday’s session with the benchmark KSE-100 index escalating 554 points and closing at 30,973, up 1.8%.
“Market participation was seen in cement, exploration and production and fertiliser sectors,” he said.
In the cement sector, Lucky Cement (+4.3%), DG Khan Cement (+4.3%), Fauji Cement (+4.5%), Maple Leaf Cement (+4.6%) and Kohat Cement (+5%) all closed at their upper price limits.
Engro (+3.8%) was the major gainer in the fertiliser sector. Oil and Gas Development Company (+2.1%), Pakistan Petroleum (+1.4%) and Pakistan Oilfields (+0.9%) closed in the green as international oil prices gained on crude inventories data.
Mixed sentiment was seen in the financial sector where Bank AL Habib (-0.4%) closed slightly negative whereas major banks HBL (+1.9%), MCB Bank (+0.3%) and UBL (+4.1%) remained in the green.
The traded value stood at $34 million, down 4% and volumes stood at 135 million shares, down 6%. Major contribution to the total market volume came from TRG Pakistan (+2%), Maple Leaf Cement (+4.6%), The Bank of Punjab (+4.8%) and International Steels (+4.9%).
“Moving ahead, we expect the market to exhibit volatility in coming sessions,” the analyst said.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated the market continued its ascent for the third consecutive session with an increase of 554 points, giving confidence to the retail and institutional investors alike that perhaps the worst was over.
Index heavyweights such as Oil and Gas Development Company, HBL, UBL, Engro and Lucky Cement played a major role in pushing the index up. Buying was observed almost across the board with major impact coming from financial and fertiliser sectors.
Among individual stocks, Hubco played a major role in improving investor sentiment whereas TRG Pakistan and Maple Leaf Cement posted volumes in excess of 10 million shares each, the report added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 134.6 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 142.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.4 billion.
Shares of 347 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 248 stocks closed higher, 76 declined and 23 remained unchanged.
TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 11.97 million shares, gaining Rs0.26 to close at Rs13.46. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 10.68 million shares, gaining Rs0.84 to close at Rs19.3 and The Bank of Punjab with 6.14 million shares, gaining Rs0.38 to close at Rs8.31.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs97.7 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.