KARACHI: The stock market resumed where it left off before the Independence Day break as the benchmark index neared the 15,000-point mark while foreigners accumulated shares worth billions of dollars on Tuesday.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.4 per cent or 58.95 points to end at the 14,970.92 points level. The government announced Tuesday as a public holiday to mark the Independence Day of Pakistan.
Strong earnings announcement by Lucky Cement and renewed foreign interest in blue chip stocks played a catalyst role in bullish sentiments, said Arif Habib Corporation Analyst Ahsan Mehanti.
Interest was witnessed in the cement sector with DG Khan Cement ending the day as the third highest and Fauji Cement as the highest traded share. Investors expect the industry to do well following record profit announcement by the country’s largest manufacturer. Lucky Cement reported an all-time high profit of Rs6.8 billion in fiscal 2012, an increase of 71% over the preceding year.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs2.9 billion million worth of shares, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Pakistan Oilfields and Pakistan Petroleum were up by 0.1% and 1.5% respectively. PPL on account of healthy payout including the surprise bonus while POL on expectation of a similar payout in the upcoming result.
The positive sentiment post policy rate cut of 150 basis points is continuing to drive the market, said JS Global Capital analyst Mujtaba Barakzai. Along with major result announcements, this can take the index beyond the 15,000 mark, added Barakzai.
Trade volumes fell eased to 173 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 193 million shares.
Shares of 314 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day 135 stocks closed higher, 129 declined while 50 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.7 billion.
Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 40.3 million shares gaining Rs0.39 to finish at Rs6.59. It was followed by Karachi Electric Supply Company with 24.9 million shares firming Rs0.73 to close at Rs6.0 and DG Khan Cement with 16.3 million shares increasing Rs0.17 to close at Rs49.34.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.
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