KARACHI: The country’s largest bourse tested uncharted territory as it breached 23,000 levels intraday before settling for just shy of the psychological abarrier, though still closing at a historic high. Both foreign and local investors remained bullish on optimistic expectations about the forthcoming full-year earnings season.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 1.16% or 263.72 points to end at 22,984.94 point level. Trade volumes fell marginally to 339 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 351 million shares.
“Equities tested the 23,000-point level as institutional investors, both foreign and local, stay bullish on optimism about the upcoming financial results season,” reported Faisal Bilwani of Elixir Securities. Consistent inflows from foreign investors kept sceptics at bay, while index names continue to trade at record levels led by oil, cements, financial and fertiliser sectors, Bilwani added.
“Evidently, large cap stocks supported the overall activity as the top three stocks on the volume leader board made 35% of the volume,” said Samar Iqbal, head of equity sales at Topline Securities. Pakistan State Oil hit its upper lock as the value of trading on the stock touched Rs3.1 billion due to aggressive institutional buying.
Engro Corporation, which has been a top pick during the past month gaining 30% month-to-date, witnessed buying on hopes of significant improvement in profitability when it announces its full-year result besides rumours of a possible stake sale in its cash-cow Engro Foods.
Anticipation of rising inflation going forward and hike in interest rates generated institutional interest in the banking sector, while trading in the cement sector was strong and challenged resistance levels on better margins and record sales.
Shares of 391 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day 156 stocks closed higher, 180 declined while 55 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs18.2 billion.
Pakistan International Airlines was the volume leader with 39.57 million shares shedding Rs0.95 to finish at Rs9.89. It was followed by National Bank of Pakistan with 19.3 million shares gaining Rs1.78 to close at Rs50.47 and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines with 14.89 million shares losing Rs0.53 to close at Rs26.93.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs3.49 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.
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