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December 14, 2019

Stocks make a comeback, tracking rising forex reserves


December 14, 2019

Stocks on Friday set up a keen recovery, guided by oil sector blue chips, mainly drawing strength from a steady increase in foreign exchange reserves, while US-China trade deal also gave sentiments a spur, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index secured 0.99 percent or 402.42 points to close at 40,916.59 points, while KSE-30 clinched 1.15 percent or 210.98 points to end at 18,619.27 points.

Of 363 active scrips, 227 gained, 116 lost, and 20 remained inert. On a day-on-day basis, volumes improved to 270.713 million shares against 227.022 million a day earlier.

Samiullah Tariq, director research at Arif Habib Limited, said the market recorded healthy gains over the development of consistent rise in the foreign exchange reserves.

“Furthermore, for the third week in row the foreign exchange reserves have been rising, signaling stability to local and foreign investors, and also allowing rupee to remain stable,” Tariq added.

Salman Ahmad, head of institutional sales at Abba Ali Habib Securities, said the market staged a sharp recovery after last three dismal sessions, led by oil and gas exploration and production shares, owing to their heavy weightage in the index and at one time scored more than 500 points.

“Exploration and production sector was up because on reports the government is willing to sell some portion of OGDC (Oil and Gas Development Company) and PPL (Pakistan Petroleum Limited) to Russian companies, which is seen attracting foreign inflows into the stock market.”

Moreover, Ahmad said the market was in the positive column because of President Donald Trump’s statement the US would ease conditions on goods imported to China, sending a positive message for global trade.

Faisal Shaji, strategist at Standard Capital, said, “The market sentiment is mixed despite flow of positive news on country's economic front”.

However, investors were eyeing a robust 2020 with respect to capital markets in the wake of improvement in economic indicators and overall governance, Shaji said.

Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporation said the stocks recovered sharply higher led by oil, banking and cement scrips amid surge in global equities on US-China trade deal.

“Investors weighed Citibank’s dismissing FATF (Financial Action Task Force) concerns as “non-material”, Moody’s positive review on economy and banks, strong sales of petroleum products and cement in November 2019 and surging global crude oil prices supported the rally,” Mehanti added.

The stock market at one stage during the session crossed 41,000 level where index hit an almost 10-month high.

The top gainers were Sapphire Fibre, up Rs44.35 close at Rs936.99/share, and Wyeth Pakistan Limited Rs36.33 to finish at Rs859.33/share.

Companies that booked highest losses were Thal Limited, down Rs10.97 to close at Rs359.20/share, and Gillette Pakistan, down Rs10.08 to close at Rs191.74/share.

Unity Foods Limited recorded the highest volumes with 28.273 billion shares and gaining Rs0.46 to end at Rs15.36/share, whereas Maple Leaf’s turnover was lowest with 7.331 million traded shares and it lost Rs1.08 to end at Rs23.18/share.