Market watch: KSE-100 rallies amid buying interest

Benchmark index rises 667.82 points to settle at 33,499.65

​ Our Correspondent April 20, 2020
Benchmark index rises 667.82 points to settle at 33,499.65. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The euphoria from the preceding session spilled into the new week as well as the stock market notched up smart gains on continued buying interest.

The benchmark KSE-100 index shot up over 1,000 points as soon as trading kicked off. However, the surge was temporary as profit-booking in early hours brought the index down, though it still traded in the green.

Stocks of cement, auto and fertiliser sectors lent support to the index with investors weighing the positive outcome of a massive cut in interest rate by the central bank. Although oil shares bore the brunt of plunge in global crude prices, the index managed to finish the session over 600 points up.

The relative stability in exchange rate and debt relief from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also played a positive role in fuelling the rally.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 667.82 points, or 2.03%, to settle at 33,499.65.

JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said the KSE-100 index extended its previous gains by almost 668 points, a rise of 2%, and closed at 33,499.

“The market remained bullish throughout the trading session; cement stocks were the major gainers as DG Khan Cement (+7.5%), Lucky Cement (+7.2%), Maple Leaf Cement (+7.5%), Pioneer Cement (+7.5%) and Attock Cement (+7.5%) closed at the upper circuit.”

Exploration and production stocks received a battering as international oil prices continued to weaken on the back of sliding demand and concerns that US storage facilities would soon fill to the brim amid the coronavirus pandemic. OGDC (-0.1%) and Pakistan Petroleum (-1%) closed in the red.

Lucky Cement (+7.2%), Engro (+7.55), UBL (+2.1%), HBL (+2%) and Fauji Fertiliser Company (+4.3%) cumulatively contributed to the positive close of the index.

Major contribution to the total market volume came from Maple Leaf Cement (+7.5%), Fauji Cement (+2.5%), Hascol Petroleum (-2.2%), Unity Foods (-1.2%), K-Electric (-1.3%) and Engro Fertilisers (-1.6%).

“Going forward, we expect the market to remain positive and recommend investors to sell on strength,” Ladhani added.

Overall, trading volumes increased to 400 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 302.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs17.4 billion.

Shares of 375 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 194 stocks closed higher, 154 declined and 27 remained unchanged.

Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 39.6 million shares, gaining Rs1.88 to close at Rs27.05. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 35.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.42 to close at Rs17.35 and Hascol Petroleum with 23 million shares, losing Rs0.33 to close at Rs14.97.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs701.7 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.