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November 2, 2018

Stocks hold ground despite law and order situation


November 2, 2018

Stocks closed flat for the second consecutive session on Thursday following range-bound trade, as investors were subdued to the law and order situation across the country, dealers said.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporations said, “Stocks closed slightly higher on institutional support, as investors weigh political patch up in NA and likely subdued CPI inflation data for October 2018 due tomorrow.”

OMCs and auto sector outperformed on government approvals for raise in local petroleum product prices and surging local auto prices. Investor speculations on likely ease in economic uncertainty amid PM’s visit to China played a catalytic role in the positive close at the PSX, he added.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.16 percent or 66.74 points to close at 41,716.10 points level. KSE-30 shares index followed suit with a loss of 0.03 percent or 6 points to end at 20,133.23 points level.

As many as 381 scrips were active in today’s session, of those 223 moved up, 137 retreated, and 21 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 245.116 billion shares, as compared with the turnover of 285.217 billion shares in the previous session.

Adil Ghaffar, CEO, First Equity Modaraba, said that despite protests from religious parties against the Supreme Court verdict, the KSE 100 index managed to close in positive territory, and investors were positive about the outcome of Khan’s visit to China.

“The numbers are very much in accordance with our expectation and inching towards 42,000 level,” he added.

Topline Securities in its post-market note said, “The tentative law and order situation in the country, coupled with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China kept investors subdued as they awaited for some critical news.”

Investor sentiments were still optimistic as the market closed on a positive note, with the textile sector dominating interest during the session by adding 36 points to the index.

On the other hand, shares of commercial banks and E&P companies restricted the index, chipping away 87 points, cumulatively. Total investor participation was limited in the session, as traded volumes fell 14 percent to 245 million, while traded value fell 13 percent to $74 million, it added.

Pakistan’s ranking on the World Bank Doing Business 2019 list improved by 11 notches, as it reached the 136th rank from 147th in 2018.

All the market observers, participants, research analysts, equity dealers and investors have pinned their hopes on the prime minister’s visit to China. They expect the visit would be fruitful in fetching some investment and trade improvement.

The highest gainers were Unilever Foods, up Rs299.99 to close at Rs7,399.99/share, and Colgate Palmolive, up Rs111.99 to finish at Rs2,353.00/share.

Companies that booked highest losses were Khyber Tobacco, down Rs28.14 to close at Rs585.66/share, and Gatron Industries, down Rs16.33 to close at Rs313.67/share. Bank of Punjab recorded the highest volumes with a turnover of 18.646 million shares. The scrip gained Rs0.38 to close at Rs13.07/share.

The lowest volumes were witnessed in K-Electric Limited, recording a turnover of 10.159 million shares, and losing Rs0.08 to end at Rs6.22/share.

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