Stocks manage modest gains despite political noise

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) endured another volatile session on Thursday, with investors adopting a cautious approach amid political uncertainty.

Global equity markets showed a mixed performance, whereas crude oil prices moved north from the previous close; WTI crude price rising 1.10pc to $46.03 while Brent crude price appreciating 1.21pc to $49.45.

“Despite a negative start to proceedings, the market managed to discount the potential negative impact of political uncertainty (opp’s resignations from centre/provinces) as well as threat of Indian false flag operation. Investors focused more on fundamentally sound scrips (HBL and NBP), whereas cement, oil & gas marketing and fertilizer sectors remained range bound. Overall, the market investors maintained a cautious approach in search of positive triggers,” a report issued by Arif Habib Ltd read.

MARKET SUMMARY

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The benchmark KSE-100 Index swayed both ways on Thursday, touching its intraday low at 42,119.63 (-84.40 points) and high at 42,441.31 (+237.28 points). It settled higher by 101.81 points at 42,305.84.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index ended 2.30 points lower at 68,297.58, whereas the KSE All Share Index added 66.49 points, ending at 29,641.66.

The overall market volumes jumped from 438.13 million shares in the previous session to 472.00 million shares (+8pc). Average traded value also increased by 2pc, from $118.3 million to $120.1 million. Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Ltd (PIBTL +5.04pc), Unity Foods Ltd (UNITY +1.83pc) and K-Electric Ltd (KEL -1.63pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 50.01 million, 35.61 million and 34.14 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that helped the benchmark index close in green included banking (+47.87 points), technology & communication (+21.77 points) and cement (+15.10 points). Among the companies, Fauji Fertilizer Company Ltd (FFC +31.53 points), TRG Pakistan Ltd (TRG +20.37 points) and Habib Bank Ltd (HBL +16.52 points) remained the top contributors.

Adding 3.51pc to its cumulative market capitalization, the refinery sector gained ended as the session’s top performer, with Byco Petroleum Pakistan Ltd (BYCO 2.00pc), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL +1.59pc), National Refinery Ltd (NRL +7.50pc) and Attock Refinery Ltd (ATRL +4.76pc) posting decent gains.

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