Market watch
Benchmark KSE-100 index rises 176.15 points to settle at 40,340.17
Taking cue from last week, the stock market extended gains on Monday and ended up nearly 180 points as investors cheered the upbeat foreign direct investment (FDI) data released on Friday.
According to statistics unveiled by the State Bank of Pakistan, FDI hit a six-month high at $189 million in September.
In the morning, stock trading began on a bearish note, however, it could not last long because investors started cherry-picking, lifting the market upwards. The market continued to oscillate between red and green territories throughout the session.
The brief stay in the red was attributed to the second power show held in Karachi on Sunday by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDA) – an alliance formed by opposition parties – against the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
Moreover, the news of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Captain (Retd) Mohammad Safdar being arrested in Karachi a day after he raised slogans at the Quaid’s mausoleum added fuel to the bearish activity.
However, despite the ongoing political turmoil, bulls managed to win control of the bourse on upbeat fertiliser sales coupled with expectations about upcoming corporate earnings for the quarter ended September 30.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 176.15 points, or 0.44%, to settle at 40,340.17 points. Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market discounted the anticipated negative impact of demonstration and gathering organised by the combined opposition against the PTI government.
“Investors’ interest was dampened at the close of previous trading session (last week) and it was feared to deteriorate further post allegations made by the PML-N against the military,” it said, adding, “However, contrary to the general feeling, the index sided with positive expectation about the upcoming quarterly results that helped it trade in the green for most of the session.”
Moreover, announcement is also due from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary session, scheduled to be held this week, where Pakistan may get relief from the Enhanced Follow-up List.
“Fertiliser numbers helped listed fertiliser stocks to post gains, especially Engro Fertilisers and Engro Corporation,” the report added.
“Post-announcement of financial results last Friday, HBL gained further, however, profit-booking brought the stock price slightly down from the last trading day’s closing price.”
The exploration and production sector also contributed positively to the index with earnings of four listed companies due to be announced in the coming days.
Sectors contributing to the performance included fertiliser (+87 points), exploration and production (+31 points), oil and gas marketing (+19 points), transport (+15 points) and vanaspati (+14 points).
Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included Engro Corporation (+62 points), Engro Fertilisers (+23 points), Mari Petroleum (+20 points), Meezan Bank (+16 points) and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (+15 points).
Stocks that contributed negatively were HBL (-13 points), MCB (-12 points), Pakistan Oilfields (-5 points), Pakistan Tobacco (-5 points) and NBP (-5 points).
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said the benchmark KSE-100 index gained 176 points after touching intraday high and low of +327 and -86 points. It closed the session in the green at 40,340.