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Business

February 10, 2018

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Stocks inch up on better earnings expectations

Stocks closed slightly up on Friday as institutional buying on quarterly earnings prospects paired the losses witnessed due to global equities sell-off and foreign outflows, dealers said.

An analyst at Arif Habib Limited said market closed in green despite witnessing selling pressure in the early session due to negative closing of world markets and continued correction in blue-chip stocks. “Due to bearish signals from cement and E&P sectors, investors were seen building positions in large cap commercial banks,” the analyst added.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.3 percent or 128.93 points to close at 43,808.80 points. KSE-30 shares index gained 0.31 percent or 66.59 points to close at 21,896.08 points.

As many as 377 scrips were active of which 178 advanced, 179 declined and 20 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 225.63 million shares as compared with the turnover of 246.01 million shares a day earlier.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said stocks showed recovery on institutional speculations on strong earnings outlook.

“Mid-session pressure was witnessed on concerns over ongoing foreign outflows and major sell off in global equities, however, upbeat textile exports and cement dispatches and robust financial results played a catalytic role in the bullish close,” he added.

Institutional interest was witnessed in big banks as MCB Bank, up 2.63 percent, United Bank, up 2.15 percent and Habib Bank, up 1.0 percent contributed positively to the index. Dawood Hercules, up 1.99 percent invited interest on earnings speculations.

Cement and oil and gas stocks witnessed profit-taking as Lucky Cement, down 1.45 percent, Cherat Cement, down 3.25 percent, Pakistan Petroleum, down 0.6 percent and Oil and Gas Development Company, down 0.15 percent closed in red.

“Moving forward, we expect market to remain volatile with flows from the local institutions and foreigners directing the market,” Danish Ladhani at JS Global Capital said.

Companies with highest gains included Colgate Palmolive, up Rs144.25 to close at Rs3,029.25/share, and Island Textile, up Rs49.87 to close at Rs1,047.37/share.

Companies with most losses included Khyber Tobacco, down Rs36.3 to close at Rs689.89/share, and Gandhara Industries, down Rs25.83 to end at Rs702.88/share.

Highest volumes were witnessed in Azgard Nine with a turnover of 19.72 million shares. The scrip gained Rs1.0 paisas to close at Rs18.88/share.

Aisha Steel Mill was second with a turnover of 16.46 million shares. It gained 71 paisas to close at Rs21.75/share. Fauji Foods was third with a turnover of 14.92 million shares. It gained Rs1.15 to close at Rs24.21/share.

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