Market watch: Index consolidates gain over 30,000

Benchmark KSE-100 index increases 47.78 points.

Our Correspondent July 18, 2014

KARACHI: The index consolidated its break above 30,000 as gains in energy on reported foreigner buying was countered by profit-taking in financials ahead of the monetary policy announcement.

At close, the KSE benchmark 100-share index rose 0.16% or 47.78 points to end at 30,224.89.

“Oil stocks particularly Pakistan Petroleum (PPL PA +2%) closed up as global funds channel more liquidity after recent secondary public offering help increase overall weight in the index,” said Sibtain Mustafa of Elixir Securities.

“MCB Bank (MCB PA -1.22%) was lower on thin volumes while United Bank Limited (UBL PA -.4%) also closed red primarily on profit-taking.

“Overall, the participation from local funds remained limited in select stocks as fear of political noise post Ramazan kept participants at the sidelines,” he said.

“With foreign inflows, start of the result season will likely help momentum and we see index testing 30,700 ahead of long Eid holidays,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Ovais Ahsan of JS Global said strong foreign portfolio inflows remained key driver of the market.

“Participants remained bullish ahead of the interest rate decision in which the State Bank of Pakistan is expected to keep the policy rate unchanged,” he said.

“With the result season kicking off, the cement sector is expected to outperform on favourable sector dynamics. Our top picks in the sector are DGKC and MLCF,” Ahsan added.

Trade volumes slightly fell to 137 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 206 million.

Shares of 317 companies were traded on the last trading session of the week. At the end of the day, 136 stocks closed higher, 157 declined, while 24 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.7 billion.

Lafarge Pakistan was the volume leader with 18.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.32 to finish at Rs16.44. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 13.9 million shares, losing Rs0.17 to close at Rs21.04 and Maple Leaf Cement with 12.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.46 to close at Rs31.95.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs237 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.

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