Stocks gain on rate decision; oil, cement lead

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Sep 19, 2023

Stock closed slightly higher on Monday as the central bank kept its key policy rate unchanged at 22 percent, easing fears of a rate hike amid rising inflation.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index inched up 49.67 points or 0.11 percent to close at 45,803.19 points. The highest index of the day remained at 45,907.08 points while the lowest level was recorded at 45,662.70 points.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) over the weekend maintained the status quo as the current monetary policy stance and kept inflation expectations well-anchored.

“The market reacted positively to the SBP’s decision as it removed the uncertainty over the interest rate outlook,” said Ahsan Mehanti, an analyst at Arif Habib Corp.

He said oil stocks led the gains as global crude prices surged above $90 a barrel, while cement stocks also performed well on strong sales data for August.

The KSE-30 index also increased by 20.46 points or 0.13 percent to close at 16,112.23 points. Traded shares decreased by 119 million shares to 103.494 million shares from 222.531 million shares. The trading value dropped to Rs3.296 billion from Rs11.056 billion.

Market capital narrowed to Rs6.763 trillion against Rs6.772 trillion. Out of 308 companies active in the session, 133 closed in green, 145 in red and 30 remained unchanged.

Naveed Nadeem, an analyst at Topline Securities, said the market remained subdued throughout the day as investors showed limited enthusiasm.

Banks, E&P, and IT stocks, including MCB, HUBC, UBL, SYS, and MARI, made a positive contribution by adding 79 points. However, DAWH, LUCK, and MEBL collectively lost 32 points.

Mubashir Anis Naviwala, an analyst at JS Research, said the stock market witnessed another lacklustre session and advised investors to buy on dips in cement, tech and energy sectors.

The highest increase was recorded in Khyber Tobacco, which rose by Rs24.98 to Rs375.32 per share, followed by Mari Petroleum XD, which increased by Rs18.60 to Rs1,550.40 per share. A significant decline was noted in Mehmood Tex., which fell by Rs43.53 to Rs536.97 per share, followed by Nestle Pakistan, which decreased by Rs22.50 to Rs7,000 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said trading commenced the week on a subdued note as the market maintained a tight range throughout the day. “To sustain the potential for upward movement, it is imperative that the market surpasses and consolidates above the 46k level, establishing it as a robust support zone,” the brokerage said.

Pak Refinery remained the volume leader with 7.869 million shares which closed higher by 45 paisas to Rs14.78 per share. It was followed by SEARLR2 with 7.346 million shares, which closed lower by 35 paisas to Rs1.02 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Agritech Limited, WorldCall Telecom, D.G.K. Cement, Bankislami Pak., Dewan Motors, Maple Leaf, Treet Corp and Sui North Gas. Shares’ turnover in the future contracts decreased to 27.783 million shares from 48.741 million shares.