Stocks maintain above 70,000 mark amid Saudi investment optimism, earnings season

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index increased by 229.86 points or 0.33 percent to close at 70,544.58 points.

By Our Correspondent
April 16, 2024
A broker looks at an index board showing the latest share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. — AFP/File

Stocks extended their gains, closing above the 70,000-point mark on Monday amid news of a high-level Saudi Arabian delegation’s visit for an investment deal, despite escalating tensions in the Middle East, dealers said.


The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index increased by 229.86 points or 0.33 percent to close at 70,544.58 points. The highest index of the day remained at 70,608.88 points while the lowest level was recorded at 69,914.11 points. The KSE-30 index increased by 58.79 points or 0.25 percent to 23,191.08 points.

“PSX reaches fresh record highs in the earnings season led by oil and banking scrips on restraint over rising geo-political tensions,” said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp."Speculations over the positive outcome of the visit of the Saudi delegation to bolster trade, FDIs, and bilateral ties and the foreign minister's visit for Pakistan-IMF talks on the new bailout program played a catalytic role in the record close."

Traded shares increased by 166 million shares to 555.214 million shares from 389.396 million shares. The trading value rose to Rs21.986 billion from Rs17.273 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs9.824 trillion against Rs9.760 trillion. Of 353 companies active in the session, 180 closed in green, 156 in red and 17 remained unchanged.

Analyst Maaz Mulla at Topline Securities said a volatile session was observed at the market, with the index experiencing fluctuations, reaching an intraday low of 400.61 points and an intraday high of 294.17 points to close at 70,544.58.

OGDC (+3.77 percent) and PPL (+1.48 percent) from the E&P sector managed to close in a positive trajectory on the back of the news that a high-level delegation of Saudi Arabia led by Foreign Minister will arrive in Pakistan on a two-day official visit. The visit raises expectations of progress on investment in the Reko Diq mining project.

Investors strategically reinforced their equity positions, engaging in value hunting, particularly targeting blue-chip stocks across the market. As a result, the E&P, power, and banking sectors made significant positive contributions, with HUBC, OGDC, UBL, PPL, and PSO collectively adding 325 points. Conversely, MCB, SYS, and EFERT saw profit-taking, resulting in a loss of 169 points.

The cement sector also garnered investor interest, with FCCL (+5.76 percent), DGKC (+1.86 percent), MLCF (+1.07 percent), and PIOC (+1.01 percent) closing in the green zone.

The highest increase was recorded in Bata Pakistan Limited shares, which rose by Rs25 to Rs1,725 per share, followed by Sazgar Engineering Works Limited, which increased by Rs23.19 to Rs493.46 per share. A significant decline was noted in Mari Petroleum Company Limited, which fell by Rs26.36 to Rs2,595.35 per share, followed by Nestle Pakistan Limited, which closed lower by Rs22.89 to Rs7,525 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the market witnessed pressure at the open, influenced by events in the Middle East over the weekend. "However, eager buyers stepped in to maintain the crucial 70,000 level, preventing further decline," it added.

"While momentum in the market remains strong overall, concerns persist regarding events in the Middle East. Any negative news flow from the region could trigger sharp downside moves, posing risks to the market's stability."

However, despite these risks, the upside potential towards the 73,000-75,000 range remains intact. WorldCall Telecom remained the volume leader with 88.622 million shares which closed higher by 8 paisas to Rs1.39 per share. Fauji Cement followed it with 33.100 million shares, which closed higher by Rs1.09 to Rs20.01 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Fauji Foods Ltd, Cnergyico PK, PIAC(A), K-Electric Ltd., Oil & Gas Dev., Bank of Punjab XD, The Searle Company and Pak Int. Bulk. In Future Market, 317 companies recorded trading, of which 168 increased, 144 decreased and 5 remained unchanged.