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December 11, 2019

Stocks edge up in mixed trade; profit-taking caps gains

Business

December 11, 2019

Stocks on Tuesday managed modest gains in mixed trade as profit-takers, pitted against the bargain-hunters, remained in control most of the session; however, late institutional support pared some early losses, dealers said.

The KSE-100 shares index, the benchmark of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), scored 0.55 percent or 221.79 points to close at 40,664.60 points, while KSE-30 was inched up 0.43 percent or 78.88 points to end at 18,529.85 points.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corporation said stocks staged recovery in the pre-earnings season rally banking on Citibank’s dismissing FATF (Financial Action Task Force) risks as a “non-material” amid upbeat economic data.

“Moody’s upgrading Pakistan’s economy and banks’ outlook, strong petroleum products, cement, and fertiliser sales in November were among key market moving factors,” Mehanti added.

Of 375 active scrips, 189 up, 161 retreated, and 25 remained unchanged. The market recorded a trade volume to the tune of 254.622 million shares, compared to 320.078 million shares in the previous session.

Salman Ahmad, head of institutional sales, said, “The overall trend of the market on Tuesday could be termed as mixed as it has entered the overbought zone”.

“Whenever the market nears 41000 levels, the equities see selling pressure, while adjustment is likely to take place in the coming sessions.”

Moreover, he added that the market might see some upward movement following some new positive trigger as almost all the market-supporting developments had been discounted.

A leading trader said throughout the session the market remained under selling pressure as most of the big players of the market booked available profits; however, institutional interest helped the market land in the positive territory.

The benchmark index hit a session-low of 40,259 points and a high of 40,651 points with deals mostly centered in auto, cement, banks, oil and exploration, and fertiliser companies.

An analyst said cement-makers after a long pause were in the green zone on speculations that some of the northern companies had raised the prices. “However, no official confirmation received but most of the companies recorded smart recovery,” the analyst added.

Recovery is expected in the oil and exploration companies on the government’s plan to sell sukuks worth Rs300 billion. Following the nod from the International Monetary Fund to issue bonds, the oil and exploration sectors are likely to see a healthy comeback.

Arif Habib Limited in their daily market analysis said, “Activity remained relatively slow compared to yesterday, but buyers were cautious of market correction, being anticipated since last week”.

Autos, steel, cement, and banking sector stocks saw selling pressure, the brokerage added. Nestle Pakistan, up Rs380.36 close at Rs7,987.61/share, and Sapphire Fiber, up Rs38 to finish at Rs809.67/share, were the top gainers of the day.

Companies that booked highest losses were Otsuka Pakistan, down Rs14.18 to close at Rs350.94/share, and Pakistan Suzuki, down Rs13.60 to close at Rs262.79/share.

Unity Foods Limited recorded the highest volumes with 30.544 million traded shares, closing Rs0.76 higher to end at Rs14.05/share. Bank of Punjab posted the lowest turnover with 4.875 million shares, whereas the scrip gained Rs0.12 to end at Rs11.92/share.

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