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January 18, 2020

Stocks dull as investors remain wary of political tiff


January 18, 2020

Stocks on Friday subdued as prevailing political squabbling between ruling party and its allies proved a wet blanket for sentiments, forcing investors to stay low until a strong positive development clears the air, dealers said.

At Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), the benchmark KSE-100 shares index closed at 43,167.76 points with a paltry gain of 0.24 percent or 102.67 points, whereas KSE-30 ended even flatter scoring just 0.16 percent or 31.97 points to end at 19,997.27 points.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporations said stocks showed recovery amid bull-run in global equities and higher global crude oil prices.

“Upbeat data on FDIs (foreign direct investment) surging by 68 percent to $1.34 billion in July-December period, record session receipt of $500 million in Market Treasury Bills, rupee stability, and surging foreign exchange reserves led stocks to end positive,” Mehanti added.

Of 357 active scrips, 179 were up, 153 went down, and 25 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes slipped to 211.406 million shares, as compared with the turnover of 229.862 million shares in the previous session.

Salman Ahmad, head of institutional sales at Aba Ali Habib Securities, said, “The inflation numbers have been worrisome. The chances of any interest rate cut will remain bleak for as long as inflation rate remains on the higher side”.

Ahmad said local oil and gas companies were following the suit of rising international crude oil prices with good volumes. “In the coming days some selected buying might surface as earnings season is all set to commence,” he added.

An analyst said though closing was on positive note, the political wrangling between the ruling party and it allies and issues pertaining to release of development funds placed brakes on overall trading pattern.

“Slow movement marked the session where equities moved in a narrow band with the benchmark index touching a session-low of 43,017 points and -high of 43214 points,” the analyst added.

A leading trader said the general perception was the market was facing resistance around 43,200 points level and by the next week if it crossed it with active support from the institutions and foreign fund houses, the index end near 44,000 points mark.

Arif Habib Limited in their daily market analysis said, “The week ended nearly where it began, i.e. near 43,000 points level”. “During the week, the index did slip towards 42,800 but closed the week above 43,000 points.” Among oil marketing companies, Pakistan State Oil made an upward move whereas exploration and production companies and refineries remained largely unchanged and declined respectively, the brokerage house added.

The highest gainers were Phillip Morris Pakistan, up Rs77.10 close at Rs2457/share, and Pakistan Services, up Rs47.02 to finish at Rs987.52/share.

Companies that booked highest losses were Sapphire Textile, down Rs44 to close at Rs936/share, and Shezan International, down Rs23.29 to close at Rs531.71/share.

Bank of Punjab recorded the highest volumes with a turnover of 27.827 million shares; however, it lost Rs0.23 to end at Rs13.90/share.

The lowest volumes were witnessed in Pervez Ahmed Company, registering a turnover of 4.380 million shares, but the scrip gained Rs0.07 to end at Rs1.17/share.