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Friday May 24, 2024

Stocks end higher on clarity over election date

By Our Correspondent
September 22, 2023

Stocks ended higher on Thursday, after a late surge in buying activity following election commission announcement that the general elections would be held in the last week of January 2024, ending months of political uncertainty and speculation, dealers said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained 312.55 points or 0.68 percent to close at 46,202.13 points. The highest index of the day remained at 46,309.80 points while the lowest level was recorded at 45,733.44 points.

“The market reacted positively to the news of the election date, as it removed a major uncertainty and gave clarity to the investors,” said Ahsan Mehanti, an analyst at Arif Habib Corp. “The market also took cues from the positive statements by the central bank governor on interest rates outlook.”

The KSE-30 index also gained 120.48 points or 0.75 percent to close at 16,207.46 points. Traded shares increased by 43 million shares to 172.158 million shares from 129.372 million shares. The trading value rose to Rs5.345 billion from Rs3.639 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs6.840 trillion against Rs6.801 trillion. Out of 327 companies active in the session, 195 closed in green, 102 in red and 30 remained unchanged.

Analyst Naveed Nadeem at Topline Securities said equities experienced a surge in bullish sentiment after the the clection commission announced the date for the upcoming general election. "This development significantly boosted investor confidence."

The ECP's announcement, made Thursday, specified that the general elections are scheduled to take place in the last week of January 2024. "The announcement has effectively dispelled the prolonged political uncertainty that had been casting a shadow over investor sentiment for several months,” Nadeem said.

Major positive contributions to the index came from, LUCK, UBL, MCB, FFC and MLCF as they cumulatively contributed 154 points to the index, whereas MTL, COLG & UPFL lost value to weigh down on the index by -44 points.

The highest increase was recorded in Rafhan Maize, which rose by Rs200 to Rs8,050 per share, followed by Premium Tex., which increased by Rs28.36 to Rs406.46 per share. A significant decline was noted in Unilever Foods XD, which fell by Rs1,155 to Rs20,100 per share, followed by Colgate Palm, which decreased by Rs17.94 to Rs1,387.72 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the benchmark index managed to break through the elusive 46,000 points level as news emerged that the Election ECP has decided to hold General Elections in the last week of January 2024.

"This development was greeted with enthusiasm by the market, leading to a swift rise above the 46k mark as soon as the media reported the ECP's decision."

Now, market observers are closely watching for 46,000 points love to establish itself as a solid support level. "Looking ahead to Friday, a closing value above 47,000 points would provide strong confirmation that the market has indeed found a bottom at the 45,000 points level, further boosting investor sentiment," the brokerage said.

SEARLR2 remained the volume leader with 25.210 million shares which closed lower by 10 paisas to Re0.15 per share. It was followed by Maple Leaf with 15.320 million shares, which closed higher by Rs1.27 to Rs29.78 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included WorldCall Telecom, Bankislami Pak., Unity Foods Ltd, Symmetry Group, TRG Pak Ltd, TPL Properties, Dewan Motors and Waves Corp Ltd. Shares’ turnover in the future contracts increased to 39.654 million shares from 28.470 million shares.