KARACHI: Trading activity picked up momentum on the penultimate trading day of the current week: the index continued to accumulate points and managed to breach the 16,000 points psychological barrier for the first time in history, before profit-taking eroded gains to see it close with more modest gains. Meanwhile, nearly $6.1 million in foreign investment was channelled into the market by foreign investors.
“The stock [market] closed at its highest amid higher trades, led by cement and oil sector stocks, on [the back of] rising global commodities,” commented Arif Habib Corp analyst Ahsan Mehanti. “The intraday historic high was followed by institutional profit-taking on reports of falling rupee-dollar parity ahead of repayments to the International Monetary Fund due this month, and higher import bills for the National Exchequer.”
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.33% or 52.26 points to close at the 15,962.37 points level. Trade volumes climbed to 189 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 136 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.73 billion.
“Increased participation was seen from both individual and institutional investors,” added Topline Securities equity dealer Samar Iqbal, “as investors think that lower inflation will force the central bank to further reduce the policy rate.”
Shares of 376 companies were traded on Thursday. At the end of the day 183 stocks closed higher, 150 declined while 43 remained unchanged.
Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 25.14 million shares gaining Rs0.99 to finish at Rs10.13. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 11.30 million shares gaining Rs0.04 to close at Rs6.44 and Azgard Nine with 9.13 million shares gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs7.13.
“Investor sentiments toward leveraged stocks were boosted on the expectation ... [that a] decline of 36-41 basis points (bps) in Treasury-bill cut-off yields has created room for a 50bps cut in the next monetary policy announcement,” reported JS Global analyst Mujtaba Barakzai.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs580.00 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2012.
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