Stocks drift higher in mixed trade

By Our Correspondent
March 28, 2023

Stocks started the week in mixed trade on Monday, as the index moved both ways and ended the day with slight gains, traders said.


The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index closed slightly higher by 58.32 points or 0.15 percent to 40,000.37 points against 39,942.05 points recorded in the last session. The highest index of the day remained at 40,066.33 points while the lowest level of the day was recorded at 39,840.72 points.

“Stocks showed positive activity on FM assurance over matters with IMF to settle soon and friendly countries are expected to materialise support commitments,” Ahsan Mehanti, analysts at Arif Habib Corp said.

However, mid-session pressure remained on surging inflation and the weak rupee, according to Mehanti. KSE-30 index also increased by 48.36 points or 0.33 percent to 14,786.88 points compared with 14,738.52 points recorded in the last session.

Traded shares rose by 18 million shares to 64.511 million shares from 46.728 million shares. The trading value increased to Rs2.501 billion from Rs1.294 billion. Market capital remained flat at Rs6.107 trillion. Out of 298 companies active in the session, 122 closed in green, 148 in red and 28 remained unchanged.

Analyst Ali Najib at Topline Securities said equities had a mixed day. “The KSE100 index opened in a green zone and made an intraday high at 40,067 (+125 points; up 0.31 percent). But, later on, profit-taking started which pushed the index toward an intraday low at 39,845 (-97 points; down 0.24 percent) before eventually settling at 40,000 (+58 points; up 0.15 percent) for the day.”

He added that investors had mainly opted to remain sidelined as market vibes suggest a further delay a staff level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

During the day, SYS, FFC, EFERT, UBL & MARI added 113 points, cumulatively. On the flip side, ENGRO, PPL and RMPL witnessed some profit-taking as they lost 37 points collectively.

The highest increase was recorded in shares of Nestle Pakistan, which rose by Rs54.95 to Rs5,155.05 per share, followed by Sapphire Tex., which increased by Rs49.39 to Rs1,099.10 per share. A significant decline was noted in shares of Rafhan Maize, which fell by Rs412.50 to Rs7,557.50 per share, followed by Ismail Ind, which decreased by Rs24.90 to Rs455.01 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the business week started off with a mixed session at the PSX. The benchmark KSE-100 index started in the red, but trends gradually shifted as the index traded both ways, as a delayed review of the IMF's Extended Fund Facility and ongoing political uncertainty kept investors at bay, resulting in a drop in volumes across the board.

Sectors contributing to the performance included technology & communication (+48.3 points), fertilizer (+32.5 points), commercial banks (+6.0 points), cement (+6.0 points), and chemical (+3.9 points).

WorldCall Telecom remained the volume leader with 5.040 million shares which remained flat at Rs1.20 per share. It was followed by Meezan BankXD with 4.762 million shares, which increased by 13 paisas to Rs92.75 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Telecard Limited, Fauji Cement, TRG Pak Ltd, Unity Foods Ltd, The Searle Co., Engro Fert.XD, Azgard Nine and D.G.K. Cement. Shares’ turnover in the future contracts increased to 81.422 million shares from 22.377 million shares.