Market watch: Foreign buying, lower inflation drive KSE up

Benchmark KSE-100 index gains 12 points.

Our Correspondent March 01, 2013

KARACHI: On Friday, investors remained enthusiastic over continuous foreign buying and news that the interim government will soon take over. Volumes were dominated by second- and third- tier stocks as Fauji Cement accounted for 37% of the total volumes. Moreover, confidence was boosted when the inflation rate clocked in below estimates.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index climbed 0.06% or 11.52 points to end at the 18,185.19 point level. Trade volumes jumped to 399 million shares – highest in nine months – compared with Thursday’s tally of 318 million shares.

“Foreign buying and establishment of the caretaker government soon kept the mood upbeat,” reported Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities. Resultantly, volumes reached close to 400 million after a gap of nine months, Iqbal added.

“Fertilisers, Hub Power Company and Pakistan State Oil rescued the bourse from the bears,” said Khalil Usmani, analyst at JS Global Capital.

Shares of 356 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day 130 stocks closed higher, 184 declined while 42 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.2 billion.

Though some profit taking was seen in some heavyweights like the Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Petroleum and Pakistan Oilfields, renewed interest was witnessed in Engro Corporation, Pakistan Telecommunication Company, Azgard Nine and Telecard.

Engro continued upward momentum with over 12 million shares traded as it took a technical breather after a sharp price run, whereas the oil sector lost ground as rumours of state institution selling kept activity limited and activity dry, according to Elixir Securities analyst Muhammad Rawjani.

After weeks of consolidation, Askari Bank edged up as speculation fuelled the price run over rumours of tender offer to be closed soon.

Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 113.69 million shares gaining Rs0.62 to finish at Rs8.54. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 26.79 million shares falling Rs0.4 to close at Rs8.36 and Pakistan Telecommunication Company with 23.16 million shares losing Rs0.12 to close at Rs23.32.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs581 million ($5.9 million), according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2013.

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