Stocks advance to another record high

KSE-100 index gains 266.72 points, settles at 74,930.70

Our Correspondent May 17, 2024


Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday witnessed a mixed trading session but still it enjoyed a bullish momentum, hitting a new all-time high with an increase of nearly 270 points.

However, profit-taking by investors kept the KSE-100 index in check, which could not end trading above 75,000 points. Earlier, trading started positively, with the index briefly dropping before reaching its intra-day high of 75,029.03 amid decrease in government bond yields.

Later, the investors preferred to book gains, dragging the index into the red. Bulls once again became active with stock buying in the banking sector and the bourse closed the day with modest gains.

“Stocks closed at an all-time high amid decrease in government treasury bond yields and speculation ahead of the budget,” said Ahsan Mehanti, MD of Arif Habib Corp.

“Government’s resolve to privatise state-owned enterprises and MSCI’s inclusion of NBP in the Frontier Market index that would raise Pakistan’s weight to 4% from July 1 and trigger foreign inflows played the role of catalysts in record close at the PSX.”

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 266.72 points, or 0.36%, and settled at 74,930.70.

Topline Securities, in its report, declared Thursday as “a consolidation day”. Pakistan equities had a mixed day, it said, adding that continuing the previous day’s buoyant momentum, the day commenced on a positive note.

However, the index could not withstand the 75,000 level due to profit-taking at the day’s high. Resultantly, it went into the negative zone.

Banking, technology and steel sectors contributed positively where United Bank, MCB Bank, Systems Limited, Bank Alfalah, Meezan Bank and International Steels added 328 points.

On the flip side, Hub Power, Engro Fertilisers and Oil and Gas Development Company cumulatively lost 97 points due to profit-taking, Topline added.

Arif Habib Limited (AHL), in its review, wrote that the KSE-100 closed in on the 75,000 mark.

“Heading into the last session of the week, the KSE-100 is currently up 2.5%,” it said, projecting that cement and pharma names were expected to resume their upside.

“KSE-100’s moves through 75,100 will bring 76,000-77,000 in focus for next week,” AHL added.

Overall trading volumes decreased to 407.6 million shares against Wednesday’s tally of 572.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs16.98 billion.

Shares of 377 companies were traded. Of these, 161 stocks closed higher, 194 dropped and 22 remained unchanged.

Pakistan International Airlines Corp was the volume leader with trading in 34.8 million shares, gaining Rs1.14 to close at Rs26.20. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 28.5 million shares, losing Rs0.49 to close at Rs26.47 and WorldCall Telecom with 24.1 million shares, losing Rs0.02 to close at Rs1.38.

Foreign investors were net buyers of shares worth Rs1.2 billion, according to the NCCPL.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2024.

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