Stocks add 189 points in volatile trade

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KARACHI: Investors at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a volatile session on Tuesday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index swaying both ways in search of a clear direction before landing in the green.

Continuing with the selling trend, foreign investors ended the previous session (Monday) as net sellers, registering a net outflow of $1.30 million.

“A major reason behind positivity [at the bourse] was the government’s consideration of imposing a ‘smart lockdown’ or partial opening of businesses across the country, as this raised hopes among investors that things would soon return to normalcy,” said an analyst at Arif Habib Limited. “Also, WTI Crude Oil price saw a 2.5pc decline in international markets, which caused local investors to book profits on exploration & production and oil & gas marketing companies.”

Among other developments, the government said it plans to seek rollover of half of its external public debt maturing from July 2020 to June 2023, worth $27.8bn, in order to help its citizens affected by coronavirus. Bretton Woods Institutions will also review the possibility of writing off loans of member nations.

The KSE-100 Index began the session on a positive note, gathering 362.76 points to mark its intraday high at 31,395.75. The index, however, changed it course thereon, slumping to 30,941.07 after losing 91.92 points. It finally manged to recover the losses and closed higher by 189.75 points at 31,222.74.

The KMI-30 Index gained 276.15 points to close at 49,121.50, while the KSE All Share Index closed with a gain of +90.61 points at 22,198.86.

The overall trading volumes declined from 153.59 million in the last session to 130.19 million, with Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF +3.32pc), Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL -0.61pc) and Pak Elektron Limited (PAEL -1.37pc) leading the volume chart. The scrips had exchanged 11.41 million, 10.73 million and 7.71 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that rescued the benchmark index from ending in the red zone included cement (+61.05 points), banking (+47.23 points) and textile composite (+40.55 points). Among the companies, Lucky Cement Limited (LUCK +22.83 points), Millat Tractors Limited (MTL +19.36 points) and Nishat Mills Limited (NML +16.32 points) remained the top contributors to the index.

The pharmaceutical sector turned out to be the biggest gainer of the day, adding 3.17pc in its cumulative market capitalization. Abbot Laboratories (Pakistan) Limited (ABOT +5.62pc), GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Limited (GSKCH +5.49pc), The Searle Company Limited (SEARL +3.55pc) and GlaxoSmithKline (Pakistan) Limited (GLAXO +3.02pc) closed with decent gains.

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