LAHORE: The week began on negative note, however, the New Year commenced on a positive sentiment, amid delay in former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari’s trial followed by Honorable Supreme Court’s directive to review the list of people placed on exit control list (ECL), which ultimately reduced the political noise (+929 points DoD on Tuesday).
Furthermore, United States President Donald Trump expressed his desire to meet the country’s new leadership soon in order to strengthen the ties between Pakistan and the United States. Having said that, concerns over rising circular debts and falling foreign exchange reserves kept the momentum mute.
Albeit, the domestic equity market gained 380 points during the week with the index closing at 37,547 points (+1.0 per cent WoW).
Sector-wise positive contributions came from Commercial Banks (245 points), Oil & Gas Exploration Companies (131 points) amid an increase in crude prices, Fertilizer (95 points), Textile Composite (23 points), and Insurance (15 points).
Scrip-wise top performers include BAHL (111 points), ENGRO (96 points), HBL (81 points), BAFL (47 points) and POL (41 points). On the flipside, sectors that contributed negatively include Food & Personal Care Products (53 points), Auto Assembler (27 points) and Oil & Gas Marketing Companies (26 points) owing to decline in petroleum sales.
Foreign selling continued this week clocking-in at $0.5 million compared to a net sale of $1.1 million last week. Selling was witnessed in All Other Sector ($0.5 million) and Commercial Banks ($0.2 million). On the domestic front, major buying was reported by mutual funds ($13.4 million) and companies ($3.5 million).
Volumes during the week settled at 118 million shares (up by 7 per cent WoW) while value traded arrived at $41 million (up by 14 per cent WoW).
Meanwhile, during the week petrol price was slashed by Rs4.86 per litre on New Year’s Eve, ECC approved 25mmcfd gas supply to SNGPL, Suzuki announced a fresh hike in auto prices, and HBL’s outlook was revised from negative to stable.
For the next week, with UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman expected to visit Pakistan in January and February, respectively, any potential agreement on lucrative deals could trigger a positive sentiment at the index.
Furthermore, the decision regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme is also anticipated during this month. Therefore, market analysts expect the market to be positive next week. With Arif Habib analysts marking OGDC, EFERT, FFC, SNGP, LUCK, KOHC, BAFL, BOP, ABL, APL, NCL, ASTL and HUBC as top picks.