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Stocks surge on energy, soft lockdown stance


November 27, 2020

Stocks on Thursday surged riding a crude-oil-fired energy sector rally, while further sentimental support came from the government’s decision to mostly refrain from shutting down business/industrial operations amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index jumped 1.62 percent or 653.49 points to close at 41,031.03 points, while volumes increased to 389.193 million shares, from 241.946 million in the previous session.

Topline Securities in its daily market review said the equities continued Wednesday’s momentum mainly after Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that Pakistan would try its best to avoid closing down factories and businesses due to the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Cements were the major gainers in today’s trading session, where MLCF and PIOC closed at their respective upper circuits, the brokerage said.

KSE-30 shares index followed suit with a high of 1.64 percent or 278.41 points to end at 17,294.79 points level.

Muhammad Saeed Khalid, head of research at Shajar Capital, said the bullishness can easily be attributed to recovering crude oil and positive updates from COVID-19 vaccine front, while government’s commitment to ensure uninterrupted economic activities in the face of second wave also helped.

The index hit an intra-day high of 750 points, marking an intra-day gain of 1.90 percent, Khalid added.

A A Soomro, managing director KASB Securities, said investors accumulated heavily in oil and pharmaceutical stocks mainly on strong fundamentals and recovering crude oil prices.

Prime Minister’s pro economic activity stance regarding imposing an anti-virus lockdown also gave investors heart to reenter the market, he said.

‚ÄúThe rising cases may bring short term sellers back over next few days. Fundamentally, stocks are strong in low interest rate scenario,‚ÄĚ Soomro said.

Trading activity was recorded in 405 active scrips, of which 304 advanced, 74 lost, and 27 remained unchanged.

Ovais Ahsan, CEO Optimus Capital Management, said mutual funds were the major buyers, deploying fresh cash raised in equity funds, while oil and gas sector saw major interest on the back of strong global prices that were currently on the rise on vaccine hopes.

‚ÄúThe cement sector also witnessed heavy volumes and gains on Prime Minister Imran Khan‚Äôs reassurance that economic activity will not face any lockdown,‚ÄĚ Ahsan added.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporation, said, bullish trend continued amid surging crude oil prices, global equities and speculations on likely subdued CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation for November 2020.

‚ÄúReports of over $100 million receipt in the Roshan Pakistan Digital Accounts, SBP rate status quo, and rupee recovery fueled the rally,‚ÄĚ Mehanti added.

Rafhan Maize, up Rs89 to close at Rs8,400/share, and Indus Dyeing, up Rs36.97 to finish at Rs533.89/share, made the highest gains, while Island Textile, down Rs125 to close at Rs1,600/share, and Phillip Morris Pakistan, losing Rs33.99 to close at Rs1,465/share, shed the most of their value.

Unity Foods Limited led the volumes with 50,024 million shares, gaining Rs1.65 to end at Rs24.84/share, whereas Fauji Fertiliser Bin was on the lowest side of the turnover with 9.563 million, securing Rs0.66 to end at Rs20.48/share.