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Sunday May 19, 2024

Stocks soar as inflation drops and speaker elected

Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained 747.16 points or 1.16 percent to close at 65,325.69 points

By Our Correspondent
March 02, 2024
An investor talks on his phone at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. — AFP/File
An investor talks on his phone at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. — AFP/File

Stocks rose more than one percent on Friday, boosted by lower inflation data and easing political tensions after the election of a new speaker of parliament, dealers said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained 747.16 points or 1.16 percent to close at 65,325.69 points. The highest index of the day remained at 65,486.46 points while the lowest level was recorded at 64,530.21 points. The KSE-30 index also increased by 256.58 points or 1.17 percent to close at 22,145.66 points.

“Stocks closed higher amid reports of CPI inflation falling to 23.1 percent for February," said Ahsan Mehanti, an analyst at Arif Habib Corp. The market also got support from the US assurance of helping Pakistan break the cycle of debt and secure international financing, as well as the rally in global equities, Mehanti said.

Analysts said the inflation could ease pressure on the central bank to hold interest rates at the record 22 percent. Ayaz Sadiq, a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), was elected as the speaker of the lower house of parliament, securing the support of most of the coalition partners of the PML-N.

Analysts said this indicated that the PML-N-led government would have enough numbers in the assembly to pass key legislation and implement tough economic reforms.

Traded shares decreased by 80 million shares to 344.227 million shares from 424.043 million shares. The trading value dropped to Rs13.385 billion from Rs17.053 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs9.312 trillion from Rs9.225 trillion. Of 350 companies active in the session, 172 closed in green, 158 in red and 20 remained unchanged.

Analyst Nabeel Haroon at Topline Securities said the positivity in the market could be attributed to continuous buying by foreign corporates and mutual funds during the week on a decline in political noise after the elected representatives took their oath in the first National Assembly session.

"Ayaz Sadiq was appointed as speaker of the National Assembly after securing majority votes from coalition partners, which improved investor sentiment," Haroon said. "It indicates that the new incumbent government has the desired numbers in the assembly if there is support from all coalition parties to take tough unpopular decisions to put the economy on the right track." The highest increase was recorded in Rafhan Maize Products Company Limited shares, which rose by Rs450 to Rs8,850 per share, followed by Mari Petroleum Company Limited, which increased by Rs113.50 to Rs2,462.05 per share. A significant decline was noted in Khyber Tobacco Company Limited, which fell by Rs26.32 to Rs324.68 per share, followed by Mehmood Textile Mills Limited, which closed lower by Rs17.72 to Rs416 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd stated that the KSE-100 index experienced a notable weekly gain of 4.0 percent, closing at 65,300 points level.

ENGRO (+7.5 percent), MEBL (+3.9 percent), and MARI (+4.83 percent) emerged as the major contributors to index gains. Conversely, OGDC (-1.43 percent), LUCKY (-0.71 percent), and CHCC (-2.01 percent) were the largest index drags. "Looking ahead, any declines into the support range between 63,000-64,000 are viewed as buying opportunities, to target moves through all-time highs at 67,000 points level," the brokerage said.

Kohinoor Spinning remained the volume leader with 71.357 million shares which closed higher by 67 paisas to Rs5.36 per share. K-Electric followed it with 19.423 million shares, which closed lower by 3 paisas to Rs4.87 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Treet Corp, WorldCall Telecom, Cnergyico PK, Pak Refinery, PIAC(A), Hascol Petrol, B.O. Punjab and Air Link Commun. In the Future’s Market, 316 companies recorded trading, of which 155 increased, 157 decreased and 4 remained unchanged.