KARACHI: Pakistan equities seemed to be making up for lost time as the index continued to conquer new territory after the lengthy Eid break. Eager investors turned to the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) with fertiliser, blue-chip and banking stocks proving to be the picks of the day.
At close on Wednesday, the benchmark KSE-100 index stood at 36,056.68, increasing 0.47% or 169.02 points. The index closed over 36,000 for the first time.
Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said investors came back in a buying mood after Eid holidays. “Stocks inched up in early trade to test highs with no serious profit taking intraday to hurt the trajectory,” said Bilwani. “Reports of institutional flows helped index gain momentum.
“Financials namely United Bank Limited (UBL, +1.6%) and National Bank NBP (+5%), fertilizers Engro Corp (ENGRO,+2.1%) pushed benchmark to test 36,100.
“Habib Bank (HBL,-0.4%) corrected marginally after almost 8% gains in the last three sessions,” said Bilwani.
An analyst at Topline Securities said renewed interest was seen in banking stocks like Allied Bank Limited (ABL), Bank Alfalah Limited (BAFL) and NBP which closed at their upper limits.
“In anticipation of better June 2015 result, investors took fresh positions in chemical stocks. As a result, Arif Habib Corporation closed at upper cap while ENGRO, Engro Fertilizer Limited and Fatima group of companies (FATIMA) increased by 1.16%-4.35%.”
Shares of 398 companies were traded on Wednesday. Of these, 241 companies closed higher, 140 fell and 17 remained unchanged.
Trading volumes increased to 621 million compared to 602 million on Thursday.
Lotte Chemical was the volume leader with 44.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.54 to close at Rs8.51. It was followed by K-Electric Limited with 38.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs8.47 and Bank of Punjab with 28.2 million shares, gaining 0.60 to close at Rs9.95.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs475 million worth of shares during the session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2015.
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