Market watch: Banks help index climb in otherwise dismal session

Benchmark KSE-100 index gains 135 points.

Our Correspondent July 15, 2013
The KSE-100 share index has been on a continuous bull run, breaking records after records as investors are optimistic about the IMF $5.3b package and the upcoming earnings season. PHOTO: INP

KARACHI: Volatility prevailed at the country’s largest bourse as the benchmark settled for 23,100-point level after nearly testing the 23,400-point level as earlier gains were trimmed by reported institutional selling in the oil and gas sector and other select stocks. However, the banking sector remained the star as optimistic anticipations surrounding the sector stimulated buying.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index rose 0.59% or 135.03 points to end at 23,172.35 point level. Trade volumes climbed to 206 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 125 million shares.

The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.13 billion.

“The week started off positively for the KSE, as the index touched an intraday high of 23,389 points. However profit-taking in the later session pulled the market down to settle for a gain of 135 points,” reported Fahad Ali, analyst at JS Global Capital.

Energy and the oil and gas sector remained under pressure as investors preferred to switch positions to the banking and fertiliser sectors.

“Elimination of (power) subsidies and anticipated reshuffling of policies at the central bank to qualify for the International Monetary Fund loan rejuvenated expectations of interest rate hike pushed the financial sector to close up,” said Harris Batla, analyst at Elixir Securities.

Moreover, Engro Corporation remained consistent and touched its upper price limit yet again. The stock has gained 50% in the last 11 trading sessions over additional gas supply to its old plant.

Pakistan International Airlines was the volume leader with 32.83 million shares losing Rs0.81 to finish at Rs9.06. It was followed by Bank of Punjab with 11.67 million shares gaining Rs0.64 to close at Rs13.81 and Pakistan Telecommunication Company with 10.92 million shares falling Rs0.01 to close at Rs24.83.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs172 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.

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