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April 25, 2019

Stocks end flat as banks lend a breather after big rout


April 25, 2019

Stocks on Wednesday took a minor breather after massive losses in previous sessions, as banks came under focus after upbeat earning results; however, amid economic concerns, overall sentiment remained unadventurous ahead of International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting, dealers said.

Topline Securities in its market review said after falling to nearly a three-year-low in yesterday’s session, the market recovered only 100 points in today's trading session. “Investors remained ambiguous with regards to the upcoming amnesty scheme which is currently being deliberated,” the brokerage said.

However, Topline report added that investors were vary of upcoming banks’ results as imposition of additional super Tax ( on 2017 earnings) would weigh down considerably on their net earnings of March quarter.

Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.28 percent or 100.22 points to close at 36,504.25 points level, whereas KSE-30 ended higher by 0.37 percent or 64.45 points to finish at 17,389.30 points level.

Of 336 active scrips, 133 moved up, 183 retreated, and 20 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 115.987 million shares, as compared to 119.605 million shares in the previous session. Madiha Javed, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, said the benchmark index remained positive with banks, power and exploration and production companies being the major contributors to the gains.

Madiha said banking sector results buoyed up the market with UBL, HBL, and MCB exceeding market expectations.

“We expect corporate results to drive the market sentiment with many banking sector results expected tomorrow,” she added. Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporation said stocks managed some recovery on investor speculations over outcome of new finance adviser’s review on proposed amnesty scheme ahead of approval of IMF and FATF.

“Oil sector outperformed on surging global crude oil prices. Hopes for positive outcome of approval on IMF bailout package and rupee stability led to a bullish close,” Mehanti added. The overall trend at the stock market was quite sluggish but its ending around 36,504 points hinted that the index has been receiving support around these levels and major financial institutions and other key individuals are supporting the equities.

The index closed in a green territory after a slide of more than 1000 points in the last two sessions closing lowest in three years. Since the arrival of the new government, the index has suffered a decline of 5800 points approximately, losing the market capitalisation by more than $40 billion. The market failed to score big despite values across the board entering in the oversold zone because of the depressing financial results of some of the heavy weights. Lower than expected profits of banks, fertiliser companies, and some of the cement makers, also dented sentiments. The highest gainers were Nestle Pakistan up Rs209.00 to close at Rs7999.00/share, and Sanofi-Aventis, up Rs38.05 to finish at Rs799.05/share.

Companies that booked highest losses were Phillip Morris Pakistan, down Rs157.34 to close at Rs2989.52/share, and Abbott Laboratory, down Rs27.22 to close at Rs517.41/share.

Lotte Chemical recorded the highest volumes with a turnover of 9.811 million shares. The scrip gained Rs0.32 to close at Rs16.48/share. The lowest volumes were witnessed in TRG Pakistan Limited recording a turnover of 8.163 million shares, whereas the scrip shed Rs0.21 to end at Rs19.01/share.

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