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Tuesday April 23, 2024

Stocks make modest gains amid pre-Eid trading caution

By Our Correspondent
April 03, 2024
A broker looks at an index board showing the latest share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. — AFP/File
A broker looks at an index board showing the latest share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. — AFP/File

Stocks inched higher in a range-bound session on Tuesday, with investors taking a measured approach as the Eid holidays drew near, dealers said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained 89.94 points or 0.13 percent to close at 66,886.26 points. The highest index of the day remained at 66,959.55 points while the lowest level was recorded at 66,573.63 points. The KSE-30 index inched down by 5.02 points or 0.02 percent to 21,967.73 points.

“Stocks showed slight recovery as investors weighed 20.68 percent CPI inflation for March, likely to ease SBP policy next month,” said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp. “Surging global stocks and global crude oil prices, government deliberations over the privatisation of ailing SOEs, and rupee stability after Pakistan-IMF SLA in the final review under SBA played a catalytic role in the bullish close at the PSX,” he said.

Traded shares increased by one million shares to 239.650 million shares from 238.829 million

shares. The trading value rose to Rs8.940 billion from Rs8.365 billion. Market capitalization narrowed to Rs9.92 trillion from Rs9.406 trillion. Of the 342 companies active in the session, 160 closed in green, 153 in red, and 29 remained unchanged.

Analyst Ali Najib at Topline Securities said equities kicked off the day on a positive note as the benchmark index made an intraday high just below 67k at the 66,960 level in the morning. “However, at the day’s high, profit-taking was initiated. As a result, the benchmark index could not penetrate the 67k territory and ended the day at 66,886 levels.”

“The aforementioned market behaviour can be attributed to investors’ approach to remain on the sideline ahead of the Eid holidays scheduled for next week and the absence of any trigger which may influence market direction,” he said.

Najib said that even yesterday’s (Monday’s) CPI of 20.68 percent (the lowest inflation number after 21 months, from a peak of 37.97 percent in May ’23) could not lure investors’ interest. Consequently, the day’s positive contributors were DAWH, SYS, FFC, MCB, and BAFL, which contributed 202 points while HUBC, PPL, EFERT, PAKT, and MARI lost 110 points.

The highest increase was recorded in Hallmark Company Limited shares, which rose by Rs39.60 to Rs576.07 per share, followed by Pakistan Services Limited, which increased by Rs34.50 to Rs974.50 per share. A significant decline was noted in Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited, which fell by Rs47.85 to Rs1,075.10 per share, followed by Abbott Laboratories (Pakistan) Limited, which closed lower by Rs23.22 to Rs455.56 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said that the market saw a flat day-over-day performance, rallying from its intraday low at 66.6k to just below 67k.

According to the World Bank, Pakistan's economic growth is expected to pick up from the current fiscal year but remain below +3 percent for the next two years. Maintaining a position above 66.6k sets the market on course to target 67.5k this week.

WorldCall Telecom remained the volume leader with 32.343 million shares, which closed higher by 5 paisas to Rs1.35 per share. PTCL followed it with 27.131 million shares, which closed lower by 48 paisas to Rs16.46 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Pak Reinsurance, Telecard Limited, Flying Cement, PIAC(A), The Organic Meat, National Bank XD, Cnergyico PK, and BO Punjab XD. In the Future Market, 309 companies recorded trading, of which 103 increased, 176 decreased, and 3 remained unchanged.