Stocks inch up as investors look for IMF’s nod

Our Correspondent
February 03, 2023

Stocks closed slightly higher on Thursday following a mixed session, with investors eyeing revival of International Monetary Fund loan programme, traders said.Pakistan Stock Exchange benchmark KSE...

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Stocks closed slightly higher on Thursday following a mixed session, with investors eyeing revival of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme, traders said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index went up 0.28 percent or 113.56 points to close at 40,733.51 points against 40,619.95 points recorded in the last session. Intraday high was 40,827.86 points, while intraday low was 40,451.49 points.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said, “Stocks showed recovery in the earnings season rally at PSX on strong valuations.”

Institutional interest ahead of the completion of the 9th IMF review amid speculations over likely help from the US to ease IMF terms played a catalytic role in the bullish activity. However, mid-session pressure remained on rupee instability, dismal sales data on POL for July-January 2023 (down 19 percent YoY), and concerns on CPI inflation of 27.55 percent YoY for January 2023, Mehanti added.

KSE-30 index also increased by 59.37 points or 0.39 percent to close at 15,229.78 points compared with 15,170.41 points recorded in the last session.

Volumes dropped by 6 million shares to 124.087 million shares from 130.973 million shares, whereas value increased to Rs6.120 billion from Rs5.877 billion. Market capital narrowed to Rs6.389 trillion from Rs6.390 trillion. Out of 328 companies active in the session, 152 closed in green, 146 in red and 30 remained unchanged.

An analyst at Topline Securities said the index went into negative territory initially and made an intraday low at 40,445 (-175 points; down 0.43 percent). But, value hunting started across the board to support the market, which pulled the index toward an intraday high of 40,827 points (+207 points; up 0.51 percent) before eventually settling at 40,734 (+114 points; up 0.28 percent) for the day.

Engro, Lucky Cement, Hubco, Systems Limited and Mari Petroleum added 191 points, cumulatively. On the flip side, Pakistan Services Limited (PSEL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), and Bank Al Habib saw some profit-taking as they lost 116 points collectively.

The highest increase was recorded in the shares of Nestle Pakistan, up Rs94.99 to close at Rs5,300/share, followed by Mari Petroleum, up Rs32.63 to close at Rs1,454.35/share. A significant decline was noted in the shares of PSEL, down Rs157.13 to end at Rs1,938/share, followed by Siemens Pakistan, down Rs47.64 to end at Rs587.58/share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said another mixed session was observed at the PSX on Thursday.

“Owing to the ongoing political instability, the market opened in the negative zone, but fluctuated both ways as the index reached an intraday high of 206.72 points and finished in the green as investors remained optimistic about the 9th tranche of the IMF deal,” it reported. Volumes remained steady across the board.

Sectors contributing to the performance included fertiliser (+49.1 points), power generation and distribution (+33.1 points), technology and communication (+32.6 points), cement (-31.7 points), and pharmaceuticals (+19.9 points).

WorldCall Telecom remained the volume leader with 20.606 million shares. Its scrip increased by 3 paisas to close at Rs1.17/share. It was followed by PPL with 12.289 million shares that closed lower by Rs1.28 to Rs75.35/share.

Other stocks that recorded significant turnover included Dewan Motors, Ghani Glo Hol, OGDC, Searle, Hubco, Engro Corp, TRG, and Bank Al-Falah.

Shares’ turnover in the future contracts decreased to 30.061 million shares from 34.750 million shares.

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