Stocks manage modest gains in range-bound session

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange moved in a narrow range on Wednesday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index closing a lacklustre day with modest gains.

Among major market developments, Pakistan managed to retain its upgraded status in global MSCI Emerging Market (EM) Index and skipped any changes of getting downgraded to Frontier Index in the semi-annual review.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) on Wednesday retained all large and mid-cap Pakistani stocks including Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDC -0.27pc), MCB Bank Limited (MCB +0.95pc) and Habib Bank Limited (HBL +2.15pc). Meanwhile, Pak Petroleum Limited (PPL +2.03pc) and Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MARI +2.43pc) replaced Nishat Mills Limited (NML -2.63pc) and Sui Northern Gas Pipe line Limited (SNGP -6.90pc) in MSCI EM Small Cap Index.

The KSE-100 Index marked its intraday high at 33,802.87 after gaining 199.85 points. It closed higher by 90.02 points at 33,693.04.

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Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index lost 67.21 points to settle at 54,593.07, while the KSE All Share Index added 52.81 points, ending at 23,884.77. The advancers to decliners ratio was recorded at 139 to 153.

The overall market volumes declined from 224.5 million shares in the previous session to 219.2 million shares (-2pc). Average traded value, on the contrary, increased by 11pc to $51 million, as against $45.9 million yesterday. Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF -0.99pc), TRG Pakistan Limited (TRG +7.47pc) and Dewan Cement Limited (DCL +9.71pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 23.24 million, 16.31 million and 16.18 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that kept the KSE-100 Index afloat included banking (+65.78 points), oil & gas exploration (+37.49 points) and oil & gas marketing (+15.37 points).

Refinery sector turned out to be the top gainer of the day, adding 1.87pc in its cumulative market capitalization. Attock Refinery Limited (ATRL +5.53pc), National Refinery Limited (NRL +4.50pc) and Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL +2.17pc) accumulated decent gains.

In a notification to the exchange, Amreli Steels Limited (ASTL -0.68pc) stated it would gradually resume its operations with expectation of reaching desired level of production by May 18, 2020.

Also, Ferozsons Laboratories Limited (FEROZ +7.50pc) announced that its subsidiary, BF Biosciences Limited (BFBL), has successfully concluded its non-exclusive license agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc for the manufacture and sale of Remdesivir.

On the financial side, Faysal Bank Limited (FABL +0.15pc) announced earnings per share (EPS) of Rs1.37 for the first quarter of FY20 (Rs1.06 last year), whereas Unilever Pakistan Foods Limited (UPFL -6.14pc) declared an EPS of Rs129.83 for 1QFY20 (Rs87.50 last year. An interim cash dividend of Rs130 was also announced by UPFL.

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