KARACHI: Investor sentiment seems to remain undeterred as the bourse resumed its upward march on Friday – after teetering slightly the day before – to close at levels unprecedented in recent years amidst heavy foreign selling.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index rose 1.49% or 202.66 points to end at the 13,761.76 point level.
According to JS Global Analyst Shakir Padela, “[the] cement sector kept investors interested with DG Khan Cement and Lucky Cement closing the day at their upper limit on expectations of better profits and off-take in the second half of the year. Another highlight of the day was the fertiliser sector as news regarding disconnection of gas supply to Engro’s new plant reignited investors interest in Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC). Engro closed the day down 1.8% while FFC gained 4.0% as market participants started hedging their bets against further gas curtailment to Engro.[The] banking sector took a breather and entered into consolidation phase with National Bank of Pakistan, MCB Bank and Bank Alfalah staying range bound. [It was] another dull day for the oil sector due to falling international oil prices and fear that international agencies might release strategic oil reserves.”
Trade volumes rose to 413.94 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 344.58 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.62 billion.
Shares of 348 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day 204 stocks closed higher, 83 declined while 61 remained unchanged.
Lafarge Pakistan was the volume leader with 54.06 million shares gaining an impressive 10.05% or Rs0.44 to finish at Rs4.82. It was followed by NIB Bank Limited with 49.02 million shares gaining a tidy 12.90% or Rs0.25 to close at Rs2.98 and the Bank of Punjab with 27.41 million shares losing a substantial 9.26% or Rs0.94 to close at Rs9.21.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs241.04 million and sellers of Rs1.03 billion, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2012.
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