The stock market largely ignored political uncertainty for the third straight day on Friday, notching up modest gains as investors focused on encouraging economic data.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), workers’ remittances increased to $2.34 billion in November 2020, 2.4% higher than in October and 28.4% higher than in November 2019.
Furthermore, the Asian Development Bank in its Outlook Supplement stated that Pakistan’s economy was on the path of recovery, particularly in the manufacturing and construction sectors, which boosted investors’ confidence.
However, political uncertainty ahead of Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) rally on December 13, coupled with rising coronavirus cases, gave bears a chance to take charge at regular intervals.
The index opened higher and continued its upward march. A few dips were, however, noted due to which trading remained largely range bound. The index plunged after resuming trading in the second session, nonetheless, bulls managed to pull the index into the green zone.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 164.56 points, or 0.39%, to settle at 42,470.40 points.
A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that the market added a total of 322 points during the day and closed in the green.
“International crude oil prices went up during Thursday night trading, which saw both WTI and Brent increase 4% and Brent crossing $50 per barrel, which was last observed in March 2020,” it said.
“The local exploration and production sector had pronounced impact of global crude oil prices, with significant interest in Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum.”
Sectors contributing to the performance included exploration and production (+117 points), textile (+33 points), power (+26 points), refinery (+15 points) and oil and gas marketing (+14 points).
Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included Oil and Gas Development Company (+43 points), Pakistan Petroleum (+27 points), Pakistan Oilfields (+24 points), Mari Petroleum (+23 points) and Hubco (+21 points).
Stocks that contributed negatively were MCB (-32 points), TRG Pakistan (-28 points), Colgate-Palmolive (-10 points), Bank Alfalah (-10 points) and Habib Metropolitan Bank (-7 points).
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said the benchmark KSE-100 index remained in the green throughout the day and touched a high of +322 points. It finally closed at 42,470, up 0.4%.
The market stood bullish where Mari Petroleum (+2.7%), Pakistan Petroleum (+2%), Pakistan Oilfields (+2%), Lucky Cement (+0.8%), Azgard Nine (+7.5%) and Hubco (+1.2%) cumulatively added 125 points to the positive momentum.
A total of 558 million shares were traded. Activity was mostly seen in the second and third-tier stocks where Pakistan Refinery (+7%) closed sharply higher while Azgard Nine (+7.5%) touched its upper circuit.
On the political front, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari met Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Friday at Jati Umrah in Lahore ahead of the PDM rally.
“Moving forward, we recommend investors to take positions in blue chip stocks on the weaker side,” the analyst said.
Overall, trading volumes surged to 557.6 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 472.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs23.9 billion.
Shares of 414 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 225 stocks closed higher, 167 declined and 22 remained unchanged.
Pakistan Refinery was the volume leader with 84.8 million shares, gaining Rs1.39 to close at Rs21.19. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 35.3 million shares, gaining Rs1.67 to close at Rs23.96 and Unity Foods with 35.2 million shares, losing Rs0.18 to close at Rs28.25.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs862.25 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.