Stocks manage modest gains amid political turmoil


KARACHI: The stock market started off on a firm note on Tuesday as the KSE-100 index galloped to an intra-day high of 265 points. The index, however, succumbed to selling pressure as investors book profits on growing noise on the political scene.

The index closed flattish yet again with minor upside of 11.75 points (0.03 per cent) at 36,137.12. Volume in­­c­rea­sed 24pc to 274 million shares on Tuesday from 220m shares traded a day ago. Overall market participation was well above the 30- day average of 129m shares. Trading value rose 52pc to Rs11.4bn from Rs7.5bn as activity was witnessed in heavyweight E&P stocks. “Interest was observed in oil exploration stocks as international crude oil prices hit 6-month high levels amid fear of supply outage,” stated dealers at Topline Securities.

Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBTL) closed at its upper limit (5pc) for the third consecutive session and the scrip was the volume leader with trading seen in 59.4m shares.

Analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan observed that the rally in E&P sector was witnessed amid increased global crude oil prices due to a supply disruption from Canada and Nigeria. Top performers of the sector were led by OGDC and PPL, up 1.51pc and 1.65pc, respectively.

Cement sector came under pressure on the back of furnace oil prices rising by 8.2pc. Marginal correction continued in scrips that are expected to be included in the MSCI emerging market index: UBL shed 0.04pc, HUBC 2.14pc and LUCK 1.19pc.

On the flip side FML, OGDC and PPL contributed 80 points to the index. “The euphoria surrounding the MSCI upgrade is slowly waning with focus now shifting towards the news flow pouring in about the upcoming federal budget,” commented analysts at Intermarket Securities.

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