Stocks rally for second day on debt relief bets

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KARACHI
Stocks Tuesday steamed ahead on optimism that the debt payment relief promised by both Pakistan’s ‘iron friend’ and its ‘friend in need’ would create some needed fiscal space for the economy as the country’s foreign exchange reserves remain anaemic.
Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 218 points or 0.52% to close at 42,265.36 points.
Arif Habib Ltd (AHL) in a post-market note another range-bound session was witnessed at the PSX today. “The market opened in the positive zone continuing its momentum from the previous close; however, participation remained sluggish throughout the trading session,” the brokerage said.
The AHL report added that investors continued value hunting across the board although the cement sector remained in the limelight due to international coal prices plummeting.
Volumes decreased 1.2% from 240.2 million shares to 237.4 million shares, while traded value increased by 6.5% to $26.2 million as against $24.6 million.
Fauji Fertiliser was the volume leader with 31.07 million traded shares. Other stocks that added significantly to the volumes were Fauji Fertilizer Limited, WorldCall Telecom, Cnergyico PK Limited, Hascol Petroleum, and Habib Bank Limited ETF (Exchange Traded Fund).
Sectors that led to positive performance included commercial banks (97.9 points), cement (61.6 points), fertiliser (+43.2pts), exploration and production companies (40.3 points) and automobile assemblers (26.7 points).
Topline Securities in its market wrap said equities extended gains on expectations of rollover of $13 billion upcoming debt payment from China and Saudi Arabia.
“Investors also cheered decline in international coal prices, which led the cement sector to remain in the limelight where Lucky Cement, Cherat Cement Company Limited, Fauji Cement Company Limited, and Pioneer Cement Company closed higher,” the brokerage said.
JS Research said going forward the trade was likely to remain on a tight leash. “We hence recommend investors to avail any downside as an opportunity to buy in the Cement and Textile sectors,” the brokerage added.
Major positive stocks that propped up the index were Meezan Bank Limited, Engro Corporation, and Bank Al-Falah Limited, which cumulatively added 71 points to index.