Stocks gain 195 points in volatile session

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KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a volatile session on Friday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index making a swift recovery after early tremors.

Foreign investors remained net sellers in the previous session (Thursday), recording a net outflow of $3.34 million.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and major producers, led by Russia, agreed to cut output by 10 million barrels a day, which according to analysts was much lower than the market expectation.

“Resultantly, oil & gas chain saw selling pressure/profit booking and closed in the red,” said an analyst at Arif Habib Ltd. “The cement sector continued displaying strength on the government’s ‘construction relief package’ as well as due to ‘lockdown relaxtions’ extended by provincial governments.

The KSE-100 Index started the session on a negative note, recording its intraday low at 31,377.10 after shedding 460.20 points. However, the index changed direction thereon and touched its intraday high at 32,086.10 (+248.80 points). It finally settled higher by 195.90 points at 32,033.20.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index accumulated 64.72 points to close at 50,588.97, while the KSE All Share Index gained 47.49 points, closing at 22,695.46. Of the total traded scrips, 168 advanced and 110 declined.

The overall market volumes shrunk from 205.15 million in the previous session to 126.72 million, with Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL -2.26pc), K-Electric Limited (KEL +1.04pc) and Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF +0.21pc) topping the volume chart. The scrips had exchanged 11.94 million, 10.55 million and 10.15 million, respectively.

Sectors that kept the KSE-100 Index afloat included banking (+104.85 points), fertiliser (+51.46 points) and technology & communication (+23.94 points). Among the companies, Bank AlFalah Limited (BAFL +33.77 points), Engro Corporation Limited (ENGRO +32.83 points) and MCB Bank Limited (MCB +19.33 points) contributed maximum points to the index.

In a notification to exchange, Nishat Mills Limited (NML -0.16pc) announced that it has partially resumed production activities in view of the relaxation allowed to the textile industry from the ongoing lockdown.

Meanwhile, Sazgar Engineering Works Limited (SAZEW +0.48pc) released its production and sales figures for March 2020. As per the data, the company produced 803 units last month, selling 647 of them.

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