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Stocks make modest gains despite political noise – Journal

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KARACHI: Stocks kept some semblance of strength as the KSE-100 index rallied 95.52 points (0.24%) and closed at 40,164.

But almost all of the gains came in the last 45 minutes with low ebb trading interest representing lower participation throughout the day. A small sum of Rs526 million has been added to the market capitalization. The index moved between the intraday high and low by 152 to 326 points.

Investor interest remained in the political situation as the 11-party opposition alliance – the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – was set to hold its first rally in the Gujranwalas Jinnah Stadium in the evening.

No one expected the fall of Imran Khan’s government, but out of caution, investors decided to post profits and stayed on the sidelines to monitor developments. In addition, the Financial Action Task Force’s decision scheduled for 22 and 23 this month has prevented investors from taking new positions.

The only bright spot was the earnings season which saw companies improve their results. The midday financial results for Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) were deemed better than expected and prompted investors to pile up financial sector stocks in the event of a dip.

The cement sector has also been in the spotlight in the past hour, with investors looking at a few blue chips. Volumes traded fell 22% from the previous day to 254.2 million shares, while the traded value fell 30% to $ 47.6 million.

Inventories that significantly contributed to volumes included Unity Foods Ltd (UNITY), Kohinoor Spinning Mills Ltd, Hascol Petroleum Ltd, Fauji Fertilizer bin Qasim Ltd (FFBL) and Engro Polymer Chemicals Ltd, which accounted for 40% of total volumes.

Foreign investors were the main spoilers in the market with their sale worth $ 2.24 million. Scripts that positively contributed to the index included HBL, Meezan Bank Ltd, UNITY, FFBL, National Bank of Pakistan, Engro Fertilizer Ltd, DG Khan Cement Ltd and Nishat Millas Ltd. The main stocks that lost value were Millat Tractors Ltd, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, Lucky Cement, Engro and Fauji Fertilizer Chemical Ltd.

Posted in Dawn, October 17, 2020

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