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November 18, 2020

Virus worries cut PSX’s global rebound led rally short


November 18, 2020

Stocks on Tuesday started off with a roar clawing on to a global vaccine rally, but ended with a whisper as virus noise started giving investors cold feet, reversing the early gains made in energy, bank, and cement sectors, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index was up 0.37 percent or 147.92 points to close at 40,652.67 points. Volumes shrank to 150.341 million shares, as compared with the turnover of 181.446 million shares in the previous session.

KSE-30 shares index also gained 0.63 percent or 107.58 points to end at 17,114.28 points level.

Muhammad Saeed Khalid, head of research at Shajar Capital, said, “The market remained bullish during the day, marking a high of 460 points; however, investors treaded with caution after PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto termed Gilgit-Baltistan polls as rigged.

“The benchmark index outperformed during the day mainly due to higher international oil prices that induced oil sector to take charge during the day,” Khalid added.

Faizan Munshey, associate director at KASB Securities, said, “Equities opened higher taking cue from bullish international oil and equity markets”.

Nevertheless profit-taking emerged at higher levels owing to concerns over rising coronavirus cases in the country, Munshey added.

Of 381 active scrips, 218 were up, 142 down, and 21 ended unchanged.

Shahab Farooq, director research at Next Capital, said, “The market took off on a positive note, cheering the developments in the global markets after the announcement of another vaccine by Moderna with higher effectiveness”.

However, the index could not sustain the upward momentum and slowly shed the early gains, while activity remained very thin and banks, energy, and cement stocks posted healthy gains,” Farooq added.

Javed Vohara at BMA Capital Management Equity Desk said, despite PM Imran Khan’s announcement about no shutdown of industries in the near term, investors were reluctant to participate, which was restricting the bullish momentum in the market”.

"We prefer banks, cement, pharmaceutical and conglomerates upon correction to capitalise on cheap valuations,” Vohra added.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporation said, “Stocks closed bullish led by cement, banking, and oil scrips on global bull-run following announcements of effective COVID-19 vaccines and upbeat data on FDIs surging by 9.1 percent during July-October 2020.

Surging global crude oil prices, upbeat home remittances reaching $2.3 billion last month and strong LSMI numbers for July-September, sealed a bullish close, Mehanti added.

Top gainers were Island Textile, gaining Rs100.41 to close at Rs1,635/share, and Nestle Pakistan, up Rs88.99 to finish at Rs6,489/share.

Colgate Palmolive, down Rs194 to close at Rs2,850/share, and Wyeth Pakistan Limited, down Rs51.45 to close at Rs1007.32/share, posted the highest losses in the day.

TRG Pakistan Limited led volumes with 9.909 million shares and gained Rs0.14 to end at Rs52.60/share, whereas Maple Leaf Cement recorded the lowest turnover with 5.157 million traded shares and lost Rs0.06 to end at Rs40.09/share.