KARACHI: On a day when ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before an accountability court in corruption references, the stock market gained over 550 points despite shedding value for most of the last two weeks.
Investors, it seems, sell more heavily in anticipation of political temperatures boiling over, but this time they bucked the trend.
Despite staying on the sidelines in first half of the day, when Sharif appeared before the court, heavy buying in the latter half pushed the index above 41,000 points, with notable names in financial and cement sectors leading the way.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered an increase of 565.13 points or 1.40% to settle at 41,064.
According to Elixir Securities, Pakistan equities closed the two-session Friday higher as gains in the afternoon pushed the benchmark index above 41,000.
“The market had a languid start and thereafter traded in a narrow range as most investors refrained from participating aggressively in the first session and monitored news about ousted PM’s appearance before the accountability court in corruption references. The hearing was later adjourned till early next week,” Elixir said.
The market regained momentum from the onset of the second session where oil stocks led initial gains. Later, the wider market followed suit as all key sectors including financial and cement traded higher on reported local and high net-worth individual buying.
“Flows and domestic politics will continue to guide market direction next week, however, participants will remain sensitive to the foreigners’ trading data as any surprise outflow can again derail the ongoing positive momentum,” the report added.
JS Research analyst Maaz Mulla said bulls ruled the bourse, pushing the KSE-100 index up by 565 points at 41,064.
“The market witnessed a recovery as value investors took the opportunity to buy stocks at attractive prices. WTL (WorldCall Telecom, +2.1%) from the technology sector led the volume charts with 15 million shares changing hands,” he said.
Some of the major gainers were MCB Bank (+2.7%), Habib Bank (+1.7%), Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC, +1.7%), Pakistan Oilfields (POL, +2.2%) and Lucky Cement (+2.1%) that cumulatively contributed 183 points to the benchmark index. A rally was witnessed in the cement sector where heavyweights Lucky Cement (+2.1%), DG Khan Cement (+2.4%), Fauji Cement (+2.4%) and Cherat Cement (+2.5%) closed in the green.
Market watch: Stocks stage comeback despite political noise, heavy foreign selling
The exploration and production sector gained as international crude oil prices remained at higher levels. Pakistan Oilfields (+2.2%) and OGDC (+1.7%) were major gainers of the sector.
“We recommend investors to trade in main board stocks and take long-term positions in the same to benefit from undervalued stocks,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes fell slightly to 115.4 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 116.5 million.
Shares of 372 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 266 stocks closed higher, 87 declined while 19 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.8 billion.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 14.54 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs2.97. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 10.13 million shares, gaining Rs2.80 to close at Rs58.92 and TRG Pak with 7.34 million shares, gaining Rs1.39 to close at Rs33.05.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs88 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
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