Market watch: KSE-100 snaps losing streak, gains 126 points

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KARACHI: After posting losses for four consecutive days, the stock market reversed the trend and rose 126 points on Friday, led by buying in banking and cement sectors amid thin trading.

Investors pinned their hopes on Pakistan’s likely exclusion from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list by June 2020 as they expected diplomatic support in the FATF meeting to be held in Paris next month.

On the other hand, foreigners invested massively during the day.

Earlier, trading began in the first session on a positive note, however, volatility emerged due to the absence of positive triggers and the index began oscillating between negative and positive zones in the initial hours.

The bourse fell in the subsequent hours and the first session ended with a loss of 90.6 points.

The second session kicked off positively and saw the index climb over 200 points, however, a sharp plunge eroded most of the gains till late afternoon. A buying spree towards the end of the session helped lift the index which closed in the green.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 126.08 points, or 0.3%, to settle at 42,633.02.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market recovered some of the losses made earlier in the week and closed the day with a gain of 126.08 points.

During the two sessions of the day, the index swayed from -256 points to +200 points.

“The cement sector gained both in terms of volume and value, with Kohat Cement hitting its upper circuit and healthy buying activity seen in heavyweights like Lucky Cement, DG Khan Cement and Maple Leaf Cement,” it said.

The exploration and production sector displayed some signs of recovery where Pakistan Petroleum crossed its recent highs.

Similarly, positive movements were observed in the stocks of refineries, among which Attock Refinery and National Refinery closed at their upper circuits.

The cement sector led the volume with trading in 36.5 million shares, followed by food companies (18.8 million) and banks (18.7 million).

Among individual stocks, Maple Leaf Cement registered trading volume of 17.3 million shares, followed by Al-Shaheer Corporation (14 million) and Hascol Petroleum (13.9 million), the report added.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the market remained volatile throughout the day, touching intra-day high of +200 points and intra-day low of -256 points. It closed at 42,633, up 126 points.

The daily traded value stood at $44 million while volume came in at 173 million shares, down 31%.

Major contribution to the total market volume came from Maple Leaf Cement (+2.7%), Al-Shaheer Corporation (+43.1%) and Hascol Petroleum (+5.5%) with cumulative trading in 45.6 million shares.

Mari Petroleum (-0.2%) declared its 1HFY20 result, where the company posted earnings per share of Rs2.90 and cash payout of Rs4.10 per share.

“Moving forward, the market seems to be remaining range bound due to a lack of triggers. Moreover, the results season has just begun and this should stimulate value-hunting mainly in banks, textile and exploration and production stocks,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 173 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 230.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.7 billion.

Shares of 350 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 178 stocks closed higher, 152 declined and 20 remained unchanged.

Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 17.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.62 to close at Rs23.54. It was followed by Al-Shaheer Corporation (R) with 14 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs3.32 and Hascol Petroleum with 13.9 million shares, gaining Rs1.19 to close at Rs22.9.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs1.02 billion worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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