KARACHI: The Karachi bourse resumed the assault on historic highs after undergoing correction on Thursday and closed above 23,000 points for the first time in its history.
Bulls capitalised on the opportunity which was created by the news of diversion of gas to Engro Corporation’s fertiliser division.
Engro led the charge hitting its upper circuit after the company confirmed through an official notice to the bourse that the government had diverted 60 million cubic feet of gas per day from the Mari field to its fertiliser plant, which will allow the company to resume urea production from both of its plants.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index climbed 1.28% or 290.19 points to end at 23,037.32 points. Trade volumes continued to shrink, falling to a paltry 125 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 174 million shares.
“The index resumed its upward drive, brushing aside any bearish sentiments and covering all of yesterday’s losses after news of diversion of gas supply to Engro fuelled bullish sentiments on a rather dull and short trading day,” reported Sibtain Mustafa, analyst at Elixir Securities.
However, volumes in the broader market were selective and remained restricted to index heavyweights. The banking sector remained in the limelight after Pakistan requested the International Monetary Fund for the Extended Fund Facility. Moreover, anticipation of monetary tightening in the coming month boosted investor confidence in the financial sector, said Khalil Usmani, analyst at JS Global Capital.
The oil and gas sector remained the favourite as foreign investors continued to invest in big names ie Pakistan Petroleum, Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan State Oil.
Furthermore, the Attock group has also been on the radar as traders expect hefty payouts from its energy division evident from Attock Refinery gaining 25% in the last six sessions.
Shares of 340 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day, 217 stocks closed higher, 79 declined and 44 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.52 billion. Pakistan International Airlines was the volume leader with 14.53 million shares gaining Rs0.88 to finish at Rs9.87. It was followed by Bank Alfalah with 10.71 million shares gaining Rs0.9 to close at Rs20.58 and Fauji Cement with 9.27 million shares climbing Rs0.16 to close at Rs14.2.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs215 million worth of shares, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2013.
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