Market watch: KSE-100 gains 629 points as bulls return

KARACHI: Bulls returned to the bourse on Thursday as the KSE-100 index notched up handsome gains, rising 629 points following a bearish session a day ago.

Trading volumes remained buoyant during the session as buying activity was recorded across the board.

Earlier, trading began on a positive note and the KSE-100 index rose steadily throughout the day, crossing the 32,000-point mark. Minor dips were seen time to time, which were corrected instantly. Across-the-board buying helped all the index-heavy sectors to remain positive.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 628.56 points, or 1.99%, to settle at 32,184.03 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market rose significantly after a bearish session on Wednesday. “The index surged 680 points after an initial retreat of 80 points in the morning,” it said.

Buying activity was seen across the board, but was mainly concentrated in fertiliser, financial and exploration and production sectors.

International crude prices stayed above the levels held the previous day, which encouraged investors to invest in oil and gas stocks. Apart from that, Wednesday’s auction of Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) helped investors take a view on the interest rate, which reflected positively on the stocks.

The chemical sector led the volumes table with trading in 19.3 million shares, followed by the technology sector (16.2 million) and cement sector (14.4 million).

Among individual stocks, Lotte Chemical recorded trading in 15.5 million shares, followed by Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (8 million) and TRG Pakistan (7.8 million), the report added.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said bears were defeated as the market staged a recovery. “The market opened positive and touched a high of +680 points as institutional participation was witnessed mainly in the main board stocks,” he said. “It remained in the green throughout the day and closed at 32,184.”

Positive sentiment could be attributed to attractive valuations of the KSE-100 index stocks, he said.

Overall trading volumes stood at 137 million shares while the traded value came in at $38 million.

Lotte Chemical (-0.7%), Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (+10.4%) and TRG Pakistan (+6.5%) cumulatively contributed more than 31 million shares to the total volume.

Buying was largely driven by value hunters with cement heavyweights such as Lucky Cement (+3.7%), Maple Leaf Cement (+3.2%), Fauji Cement (+3.1%) and DG Khan Cement (+2.2%) leading the charts.

Furthermore, Pakistan Petroleum (+2.3%), Pakistan Oilfields (+1.4%), Bank Alfalah (+0.2%), HBL (+1.6%) and UBL (+0.7%) from the exploration and production and banking sectors enjoyed the same upward trend.

Nishat Mills (+3.5%) from the textile sector announced its FY19 result, where the company posted earnings per share of Rs22.20 and cash payout of Rs4 per share.

“Moving forward, we expect the market to trade above 32,000, where we recommend investors to buy on dips,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes increased to 136.6 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 99.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.9 billion.

Shares of 357 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 263 stocks closed higher, 72 declined and 22 remained unchanged.

Lotte Chemical was the volume leader with 15.5 million shares, losing Rs0.1 to close at Rs14.57. It was followed by Pakistan International Bulk Terminal with 8 million shares, gaining Rs0.73 to close at Rs7.76 and TRG Pakistan with 7.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.86 to close at Rs14.05.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs135 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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