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Tuesday May 21, 2024

Stocks hit record high on steel and cement rally

By Our Correspondent
April 04, 2024
A woman takes pictures of the electronic board displaying data at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi, on December 21, 2022. — PPI
A woman takes pictures of the electronic board displaying data at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi, on December 21, 2022. — PPI

Stock soared to a new record on Wednesday, buoyed by investor optimism following the government’s clarity on the privatisation of state-owned enterprises, with the cement and steel sectors leading the rally, dealers said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained 869.77 points or 1.30 percent to close at 67,756.04 points. The highest index of the day remained at 67,873.22 points while the lowest level was recorded at 66,985.02 points. The KSE-30 index increased by 283.69 points or 1.29 percent to 22,251.42 points.

“Stocks closed all-time high on speculations over the State Bank of Pakistan policy easing after CPI inflation fell to 20.7 percent in March," said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp.

"Upbeat data on cement sales, surging by 3.85 percent year-on-year, POL sales by 4 percent year-on-year and textile exports by 3 percent year-on-year in March and a surge in global crude oil prices played a catalytic role in bullish close."

Traded shares increased by 122 million shares to 361.823 million shares from 239.650 million shares. The trading value rose to Rs11.901 billion from Rs8.940 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs9.452 trillion against Rs9.392 trillion. Of 340 companies active in the session, 208 closed in green, 108 in red and 24 remained unchanged.

Analyst Maaz Mulla at Topline Securities said equities kicked off the day on a positive note as the benchmark index made an intraday high of 67,873 (+986.95) and managed to close at 67,756.03 points.

"It was the cement sector that stole the spotlight, spearheading the market's upward trajectory," Mulla said. "Investors opted for buying in stocks like MLCF (7.5 percent up), FCCL (7.5 percent up) and DGKC (7.5 percent up) which managed to close on their respective upper caps."

Mulla said steel sector followed the footsteps of the cement sector where ISL (6.70 percent up), MUGHAL (5.05 percent up), ASTL (3.97 percent up) and INIL (3.56 percent up) closed in the green trajectory.

The day’s positive contributors were ENGRO, EFERT, LUCK, PPL, OGDC and DAWH, which added 546 points while MEBL, PPL, MCB and HUBC lost 64.89 points.

The highest increase was recorded in Hallmark Company Limited shares, which rose by Rs43.21 to Rs619.28 per share, followed by Lucky Cement Limited, which increased by Rs36.47 to Rs798.66 per share. A significant decline was noted in Hoechst Pakistan Limited, which fell by Rs49.50 to Rs1,250.50 per share, followed by Shahmurad Sugar Mills Limited, which closed lower by Rs28.54 to Rs541.46 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the benchmark index made strong strides into uncharted territory, propelled by robust performance in the cement sector.

Of the stocks traded, 67 witnessed gains while 24 recorded declines, with ENGRO PA (4.88 percent), EFERT PA (+3.9 percent), and LUCK PA (+4.78 percent) emerging as the primary contributors to index gains.

The inclusion of the cement sector, which has remained relatively sideways since the beginning of the year, introduces a new dynamic to the ongoing bull market.

Cement and steel companies are positioning themselves to potentially outperform in the second quarter, signalling promising prospects for investors in these sectors.

PIAC (A) remained the volume leader with 38.235 million shares which closed lower by Rs1.86 to Rs25.22 per share. Flying Cement followed it with 21.459 million shares, which closed higher by 89 paisas to Rs8.79 per share. Other significant turnover stocks included WorldCall Telecom, Power Cement, Cnergyico PK, Fauji Cement, National Bank XD, K-Electric Ltd., PTCL and Dewan Cement.

In Future Market, 307 companies recorded trading, of which 212 increased, 86 decreased and 9 remained unchanged.