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Tuesday February 27, 2024

Stocks gain on export data; volumes stay low ahead of election

Index was supported by positive contributions from sectors such as fertilizers, oil and gas, banking and cement

By Our Correspondent
February 03, 2024
A stockbroker attends a call during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. — AFP/File
A stockbroker attends a call during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. — AFP/File

Stocks closed higher on Friday as investors weighed upbeat economic data for exports, but volumes remained low as some preferred to stay on the sidelines ahead of a general election, traders said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained 609.18 points or 0.98 percent to close at 63,002.92 points. The highest index of the day remained at 63,075.30 points while the lowest level was recorded at 62,448.72 points. The KSE-30 index also increased by 178.31 points or 0.84 percent to 21,327.87 points.

The index was supported by positive contributions from sectors such as fertilizers, oil and gas, banking and cement, which offset losses in engineering, automobiles and textiles.

“Stocks closed bullish in the earnings season rally at PSX as investors weigh upbeat economic data for exports surging by 26.9 percent year-on-year to $2.786 billion and trade deficit falling by 30 percent year-on-year to $1.879 billion in January,” Ahsan Mehanti, an analyst at Arif Habib Corp, said.

“Speculations ahead of IMF approval on SIFC-directed proposals to resolve the power sector circular debt issue, stable rupee and higher global crude oil prices played a catalytic role in the bullish close at the PSX.”

Traded shares decreased by 7 million shares to 263.547 million shares from 270.537 million shares. The trading value dropped to Rs10.730 billion from Rs11.625 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs9.206 trillion against Rs9.119 trillion. Out of 336 companies active in the session, 217 closed in green, 92 in red and 27 remained unchanged.

The market activity was subdued as some investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the general election on Feb. 8.

“Overall participation in the market by investors continues to be at the lower end as they prefer to remain on the sidelines before the upcoming general election,” Nabeel Haroon, an analyst at Topline Securities, said. “The index extended its previous day’s gain, which largely traded in a positive zone during the trade.”

Major positive contributions to the index came from MTL, EFERT, OGDC, MCB and LUCK, as they cumulatively contributed 299 points to the index.

The highest increase was recorded in Ismail Industries Limited, which rose by Rs83 to Rs1,240 per share, followed by Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited, which increased by Rs37.11 to Rs1,049.99 per share. A significant decline was noted in KSB Pumps Company Limited, which fell by Rs9.40 to Rs118.60 per share, followed by Bela Automotives Limited, which closed lower by Rs6.58 to Rs81.13 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the week concluded on a positive note as the market managed to reclaim the 63,000 points level, limiting the week-on-week declines to 1.22 percent.

“Closing above the first resistance level at 62,500 points is seen as constructive, and building support at this level in the upcoming week is crucial to pave the way for a potential move towards 64k. It’s important to note that next week will be a shortened trading week with Monday, which will likely influence the direction of the index,” the brokerage said.

K-Electric Ltd. remained the volume leader with 26.580 million shares which closed higher by 22 paisas to Rs4.68 per share. P.I.A.C.(A) followed it with 25.838 million shares, which closed higher by 87 paisas to Rs10.94 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Pak Petroleum, Hascol Petrol, Oil & Gas Dev., Air Link Commun, Pak Elektron, Soneri Bank Ltd, WorldCall Telecom and P.T.C.L.

In Future’s Market, 328 companies recorded trading, of which 217 increased, 105 decreased and 6 remained unchanged.