Stocks dip as profit-taking shadows cement rally

By Our Correspondent
April 24, 2024
Pakistani traders stand beneath an electronic board displaying share prices at the Pakistani Stock Exchange (PSX). — INP/File

Stock ended slightly lower in a mixed trade on Tuesday, as early gains driven by a rally in the cement sector were erased by profit-taking in the later session, traders said.


The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index fell by 74.06 points or 0.10 percent to close at 71,359.41 points. The highest index of the day remained at 71,846.64 points while the lowest level was recorded at 71,338.43 points. The KSE-30 index remained flat with a change of 0.50 points to 23,566.86 points.

“Stocks closed under pressure amid higher trades on weak global crude oil prices, reports over refineries shutdown and expectations over prudent SBP policy announcement next week ahead of new IMF loan talks next month," said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp.

"Shanghai Electric Power’s withdrawal on KE acquisition offer, uncertainty over Pakistan-US relations on Pakistan-Iran trade pacts and weak rupee played a catalytic role in the negative close."

Traded shares also remained flat at 655.935 million shares from 655.205 million shares. The trading value dropped to Rs24.485 billion from Rs31.248 billion. Market capital narrowed to Rs9.904 trillion against Rs9.925 trillion. Of 371 companies active in the session, 170 closed in green, 179 in red and 22 remained unchanged.

Ali Najib, an analyst at Topline Securities, said the market behaviour can be accredited to across-the-board buying in cyclical stocks especially in the cement sector in the backdrop of Monday’s current account surplus of $619 million and anticipation of inflation to clock in at 17-18 percent for April 2024.

"It is pertinent to note that street expectation is scattered from status-quo to a 50-100bps cut in the upcoming monetary policy, scheduled for next Monday. Any reduction in interest rates would put further fuel in the fire as far as recent bullish momentum goes at the PSX,” Najib said.

"However, at the day’s high, profit-taking was initiated. Resultantly, the benchmark index could not stay in the green zone."Cement, bank and autos sectors contributed positively to the index as LUCK, UBL, HBL, MTL and MLCF added 161 points, cumulatively. On the flip side, MEB, FABL and OGDC saw some profit-taking as they cumulatively lost 135 points.

The highest increase was recorded in Hallmark Company Limited shares, which rose by Rs64.57 to Rs928.57 per share, followed by Sazgar Engineering Works Limited, which increased by Rs29.45 to Rs626.15 per share. A significant decline was noted in Rafhan Maize Products Company Limited, which fell by Rs184.90 to Rs8,125.10 per share, followed by Unilever Pakistan Foods Limited, which closed lower by Rs58.84 to Rs20,474.50 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said that the PSX witnessed a mixed trading session, with the benchmark index staying below Monday's high amid varied price actions across sectors."Cement stocks emerged as the standout sector, with several hitting upper limits early in the session before retracing from their highs later in the day," the brokerage said in a post market report.

"Staying above the 71k mark sets up potential moves towards 72k for the KSE-100 index, indicating continued bullish sentiment in the market. However, it's worth noting that the KSE-30 index is now within touching distance of 24k, a key level above which the potential for a 5-10 percent correction to set in will grow, signalling caution among investors."

K-Electric Ltd. remained the volume leader with 67.160 million shares which closed lower by 23 paisas to Rs4.05 per share. Pak Int. Bulk followed it with 46.349 million shares, which closed higher by 4 paisas to Rs6.63 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Fauji Cement, Pak Elektron, Maple Leaf, WorldCall Telecom, Air Link Commun, Fauji Foods Ltd, PIAC(A) and Unity Foods Ltd. In Future Market, 317 companies recorded trading, of which 134 increased, 172 decreased and 11 remained unchanged.