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Stocks remain on the rise amid high vaccine hopes


December 3, 2020

Stocks on Wednesday stayed the stellar course mostly on virus vaccine hopes and a somewhat tame Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation and higher export numbers for November, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.87 percent or 362.11 points to close at 42,027.38 points. Turnover decreased to 476.871 million shares, from 489.632 million on Tuesday. KSE-30 was hit a high of 0.77 percent or 134.83 points to end at 17,668.32 points.

A A Soomro, managing director at KASB Securities said the index remained greenish as the easing CPI ((Consumer Price Index) numbers came as a relief.

Nonetheless, most interest was witnessed in technology, refinery, and automobile sector, he said adding that oil marketing companies also posted strong growth showing recovery was sustainable.

In contrast, the national coronavirus infection rate shot to 8 percent compared to 6 percent yesterday; however, lockdown had so far kept the total number of daily cases flattish, but risks to the upside remain, Soomro added.

“Nonetheless, we feel the current account may again be close to break-even/surplus keeping foreign exchange reserves upwards. The market remains strong, for long-term investors,” Soomro said.

Muhammad Saeed Khalid, head of research at Shajar Capital, said despite higher than expected CPI number for the month of November, the index surged mainly on the vaccine hopes along with the stability in crude oil prices.

The oil scrips also surged on the higher OMCs (oil marketing companies) sales volume recorded during 5MFY21, he said.

Trading activity was recorded in 403 active scrips, of which 242 advanced, 125 lost, and 36 remained unchanged.

Salman Ahmad, head of institutional sales at Aba Ali Habib Securities, said the rise in crude oil price on hopes of early arrival of COVID-19 vaccine increased the demand on the back of improving economic activity and the local energy shares followed the suit. Despite rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, the government’s approval to buy $150 million worth of vaccine supported overall sentiment, he said.

“The market is flush with rumors the cement price in the northern region has increased, which generated activity in sector shares,” Ahmad said.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporation said the bullish activity, witnessed at PSX, was led by scrips amid record trades on strong earnings outlook.

Higher global crude oil prices, rupee stability, upward revision in local petroleum products and auto prices, upbeat data on CPI inflation last month and FBR agreement over annual collection of CGT contributed to the bullish close, Mehanti added.

Millat Tractors, gaining Rs78.34 to close at Rs1,122.99/share, and Indus Motor Company, strengthening by Rs74.18 to finish at Rs1218.48/share, ended up as top gainers.

Sapphire Textile, losing Rs84.58 to close at Rs1,053/share, and Premium Textile, shedding Rs17 to close at Rs218/share, were the main losers of the day.

Unity Foods Limited topped volumes chart with 39,756 million shares. The scrip, however, lost Rs0.27 to end at Rs27.20/share. Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim was at the bottom of the chart with 11,060 million shares, but gained Rs0.45 to finish at Rs21.39/share.