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Market watch Foreigners offload, but index still moves higher

Market watch: Foreigners offload, but index still moves higher

KARACHI: Pakistan equities closed marginally positive after morning gains had pushed the benchmark KSE-100 index past the 43,000-point level, with profit-booking taking away the shine from a record high closing yet again.

At close, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark KSE 100-share Index rose 0.11% or 48.71 points to end at 42,949.73 – its highest finish yet.

Elixir Securities, in its report, stated the wider market started on the front foot, picking up momentum from the previous day.

“The KSE-100 index gained steadily until mid-day mainly driven by local liquidity as participants shrugged off concerns of ongoing selling spree by foreigners and cherry picked blue-chip names and sideboard plays.

“Most excitement was seen in cement stocks as the sector closed up 0.5% with investors likely betting on higher off-take numbers for the ongoing month; DG Khan Cement (DGKC PA +1.6%), Maple Leaf Cement (MLCF PA +1.1%) and Lucky Cement (LUCK PA +0.54%) all closed higher,” said analyst Ali Raza.

“Select financials too were in limelight during the day with Habib Bank (HBL PA -0.3%) and United Bank (UBL PA +0.1%) supporting initial gains, however, failed to sustain gains on reported foreign selling,” the analyst remarked.

“Overall, most activity was concentrated in small and mid-caps with top 38 slots on volumes board being occupied by shares being lower than Rs80/share,” Raza added.

Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous was of the view that the market continued its positive momentum but investors opted for profit taking.

“E&P sector gained to close in the green zone on the back of news that the world’s listed oil companies have slashed oil output by 2.4% so far this year during one of the industry’s worst downturns as OPEC battles to agree on its first production cut since 2008,” said Ghous.

“PPL (+0.7%) and OGDCL (+0.5%) were top performers of the aforementioned sector.

“Investor interest was seen in the cement sector as the sector gained to close (+0.8%) higher from its previous day close. ACPL (+5.0%), CHCC (+2.7%) and DGKC (+1.6%) were top performers of the aforementioned sector,” said the analyst.

“Moving forward, pressure is likely to persist in the market as Friday is the last day of the roll-over week. We recommend investors to stay cautious,” he added.

Trade volumes rose to 564 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 495 million.

Shares of 441 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 242 stocks closed higher, 186 declined while 13 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs18.3 billion.

Pace (Pak) was the volume leader with 61.2 million shares, losing Rs0.07 to finish at Rs12.54. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 31.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.63 to close at Rs9.12 and PIAC (A) with 30.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs13.15.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs521 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Courtesy : Express Tribune

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