Stocks gain as banks, foreign buying lift market

By Our Correspondent
May 22, 2024
Digital monitor showing the share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in Karachi. — INP/File

Stocks closed higher in a mixed trade on Tuesday, lifted by gains in the banking sector and some foreign buying, dealers said.


The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained 122.77 points or 0.16 percent to close at 75,206.77. The KSE-30 index increased by 49.05 points or 0.20 percent to 24,142.72 points.

"The KSE-100 index experienced a mixed session, reaching an intraday high of 398 points and an intraday low of 125 points, ultimately closing at 75,206," said analyst Maaz Mulla at brokerage Topline Securities.

Analyst said strong earnings outlook, upbeat World bank's forecast for 15 percent inflation for FY25, current account deficit at 0.6 percent of GDP, rupee stability, and foreign inflows also played positive role in higher close.

Traded shares increased by 87 million shares to 462.304 million shares from 375.359 million shares. The trading value dropped to Rs15.871 billion from Rs16.301 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs10.164 trillion against Rs10.140 trillion. Of 381 companies active in the session, 174 closed in green, 184 in red and 23 remained unchanged.

Positive contributions to the index came from MEBL, BAHL, UBL, SRVI, and PKGP, adding 301 points collectively. On the flip side, DAWH, POL, FFC, THALL, and OGDC contributed to a 180-point decline in the index.

Notably, KEL led the volumes following the news that the power regulator has approved a seven-year plan for K-Electric. This plan includes increasing its generation capacity by approximately 3,200 MW and reducing the tariff by an estimated 9 percent, lowering it to 7.9 cents from the current rate of 8.7 cents.

The highest increase was recorded in Service Industries Limited shares, which rose by Rs56.46 to Rs841.46 per share, followed by Mehmood Textile Mills Limited, which increased by Rs26.30 to Rs525.52 per share. A significant decline was noted in Unilever Pakistan Foods Limited, which fell by Rs428.42 to Rs18,555.32 per share, followed by Nestle Pakistan Limited, which closed lower by Rs96.54 to Rs7,321.28 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the benchmark index continues to hold the 75,000 level, maintaining a positive short-term outlook.

In a significant development, the PSX will gradually enhance the security-wise circuit breakers by 0.5 percent on a fortnightly basis until they reach 10 percent from the current 7.5 percent. This enhancement will start on May 27, 2024, and is expected to be completed by July 22, 2024.

Additionally, Pakistan's GDP growth beat forecasts, accelerating to 2.1 percent year-on-year from 1.8 percent (revised up from one percent earlier) in the fourth quarter of 2023."Key levels to watch are 75,000 for the KSE-100 and 24,000 for the KSE-30 to maintain a positive near-term outlook on the market."

K-Electric Ltd. remained the volume leader with 40.931 million shares which closed higher by 17 paisas to Rs4.84 per share. Dewan Cement followed it with 38.491 million shares, which closed higher by 92 paisas to Rs10.80 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Symmetry Group Ltd, Dewan Motors, WorldCall Telecom, Hum Network, P.T.C.L., Fauji Foods Ltd, Pak Elektron and Kohinoor Spining. In Future Market, 318 companies recorded trading, of which 135 increased, 178 decreased and 5 remained unchanged.