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Stocks end flat ending two-day rally on profit taking

Business

May 25, 2019

Stocks ended flat on Friday rising only slightly compared to the last two days, as profit taking gained traction after rupee appreciation that hinted at a semblance of stabilisation, dealers said.

Madiha Javed, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities said, “After the excitement of the past two days, where the benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 6.4 percent, Friday’s session remained mixed with investors booking profits. On Thursday, SBP released weekly foreign exchange reserves data, which declined to $15.126 billion (down 4.83 percent WoW) as of May 17, 2019.”

Fertilisers were the major contributors to the index’s gains followed by cements, she added. Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) KSE-100 shares index gained 0.34 percent or 122.47 points to close at 35,703.81 points level. KSE-30 shares index followed suit with a high of 0.29 percent or 48.58 points to end at 17,063.09 points level.

Of 313 active scrips, 150 moved up, 151 retreated, and 12 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 142.026 million shares, as compared with the turnover of 227.706 million shares in the previous session.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporations said, “Stocks closed higher amid thin trade in the pre-budget rally after reports of Rs1.84 trillion development outlay set for FY19.”

Oil stocks were battered on plunge in global crude oil prices on ongoing US-China trade tensions. Saudi Arabia’s $3.2 billion oil facility on deferred payment, strengthening of rupee against dollar, upbeat data on current account deficit for July-April 2019 and hopes for allocation of Rs20 billion disaster support fund next week played a catalytic role in the bullish close, he added.

Salman Ahmad, head of institutional sales at Aba Ali Habib said the continuous rise in stock prices over the last two days stoked investors to book profits in select scrips.

Drop in crude oil prices also pushed some dealers to square their positions, he added.

However, under tone and on technical grounds the market looked strong; now much depended on the currency movement and other financial numbers.

The cement sector continued its rally, gaining 3.11 percent backed by talks regarding price increase of Rs50 per bag. The sector also geared up on the back of the government’s decision to increase the Public Sector Development Programme for the next fiscal year, which hints that the demand for the commodity might go up. Meanwhile, oil and gas exploration and production stocks declined by 2.4 percent, as international oil prices lost ground on rising inventories.

The market has gained more than 2,500 points this week, leading to some profit taking opportunities; however, valuations remain attractive and analysts recommend investors to cherry pick blue chip shares with strong fundamentals.

The highest gainers were Nestle Pakistan, up Rs243.99 to close at Rs7,089.00/share, and Wyeth Pakistan Limited, up Rs36.11 to finish at Rs764.25/share.

Companies that booked highest losses were Millat Tractors, down Rs17.41 to close at Rs822.98/share, and Pakistan Oilfields, down Rs13.13 to close at Rs446.58/share. Maple Leaf recorded the highest volumes with a turnover of 8.753 million shares. The scrip gained Rs1.1 to close at Rs23.57/share.

The lowest volumes were witnessed in DGK Cement recording a turnover of 3.896 million shares, whereas the scrip gained Rs0.88 to end at Rs62.04/share.

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