KARACHI: The stock market extended gains on Wednesday on the back of positive expectations about the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting currently under way in Bangkok.
Positive investor sentiment buoyed by higher international crude oil prices, progress on the FATF front, increase in urea prices and constitution of a stockbroker committee pushed the benchmark index upwards.
Earlier, trading began on a positive note and the KSE-100 index rose steadily throughout the day. At midday, selling pressure emerged, which dragged the index down slightly, but late session buying wiped out all the losses and helped the index close just below the 31,000-point mark.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 487.63 points, or 1.6%, to settle at 30,954.83 points.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the market had a bullish momentum throughout the day, during which it hit an intra-day high of 553 points and closed at 30,955, up 488 points.
“Major positive contribution came from the oil sector on the back of rising crude prices on global expectations of further output cuts,” he said. Pakistan Oilfields (+1.3%), Oil and Gas Development Company (+4.8%) and Pakistan Petroleum (+5%) contributed to the sector’s gains.
Banking sector heavyweights recorded a hike in stock prices as well including UBL (+2.3%), HBL (+4.7%) and MCB Bank (+3.1%).
Lucky Cement (-1.1%), DG Khan Cement (-3%) and Maple Leaf Cement (-4.5%) from the cement sector recorded losses as profit-booking continued from the last trading day.
Traded value for the day stood at $32 million, up 103% and trading volumes came in at 100 million shares, up 107%. Major contribution to the total market volume came from Maple Leaf Cement (-4.5%), Oil and Gas Development Company (+4.8%) and WorldCall Telecom (-4.5%).
“Moving ahead, we expect the market to remain volatile due to geopolitical tensions. We recommend investors to stay cautious at current levels,” the analyst said.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the KSE-100 index fared well on the first day of a short trading week after a long weekend. Positive expectations from the ongoing FATF meeting in Bangkok and higher international crude prices kept investors’ interest alive.
Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum led the index by hitting their respective upper circuits and having significant trading volumes. Both stocks, however, closed below their upper price ceilings.
The index also drew support from the banking sector, which saw HBL hitting its upper circuit and other stocks trading mostly in the green.
Cement, steel, oil and gas marketing companies mostly traded on the negative side.
Most volumes were recorded in the cement sector that saw trading in 18.1 million shares, followed by the exploration and production sector (12.2 million) and technology sector (11.1 million).
Among individual stocks, Maple Leaf Cement led the volumes table with trading in 11.5 million shares followed by Oil and Gas Development Company (8.8 million) and WorldCall Telecom (6.7 million).
Overall, trading volumes increased to 99.7 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 48.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.9 billion.
Shares of 346 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 142 stocks closed higher, 184 declined and 20 remained unchanged.
Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 11.5 million shares, losing Rs0.78 to close at Rs16.45. It was followed by Oil and Gas Development Company with 8.8 million shares, gaining Rs5.45 to close at Rs119.01 and WorldCall Telecom with 6.7 million shares, losing Rs0.04 to close at Rs0.85.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs207.4 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.