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Stocks regain 75,000 level on rate cut hopes

Our Correspondent
Friday, May 24, 2024

Stocks regained the 75,000 level on Thursday, with the benchmark index rising 0.21 percent, as investors bet on an interest rate cut by the central bank next month, dealers said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) KSE 100-share Index increased by 157.80 points to 75,114.47 points against 75,114.47 points recorded in the last session. The KSE-30 index increased by 30.78 points or 0.13 percent to 24,113.97 points.

“Stocks showed recovery amid falling government bond yields expected to ease SBP policy rate next month,” said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp. He said that speculations in the pre-budget session ahead of prior actions on energy, tax and trade tariffs for new IMF bailout deal, government deliberation on privatisation of SOEs and foreign inflows played catalytic role in the higher close.

Traded shares increased by 174 million shares to 758.944 million shares from 584.484 million shares. The trading value dropped to Rs16.708 billion from Rs17.714 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs10.154 trillion against Rs10.106 trillion. Of 376 companies active in the session, 192 closed in green, 16 in red and 28 remained unchanged.

Naveed Nadeem, an analyst at Topline Securities, said equity market experienced a mixed day. The benchmark index reached an intraday high of 75,285 points (+328 points) and an intraday low of 74,726 points (-231 points), ultimately settling the day at 75,114 points.

The fertilizer, power and E&P sectors made positive contributions, with OGDC, KEL, FFC, and HUBC collectively adding 175 points. Conversely, ENGRO, MCB, and UBL collectively lost 110 points.

The highest increase was recorded in Unilever Pakistan Foods Limited shares, which rose by Rs84.44 to Rs18,500 per share, followed by Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited, which increased by Rs38.10 to Rs918.10 per share. A significant decline was noted in Mehmood Textile Mills Limited, which fell by Rs38.18 to Rs470.92 per share, Hallmark Company Limited followed it, which closed lower by Rs28.33 to Rs574.07 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said that the benchmark index continued to demonstrate resilience at the 75,000 level.ATRL (-0.21 percent) is currently in discussions with several banks, including Habib Bank, United Bank, and Standard Chartered, for a loan to fund 60 percent of an expansion project estimated to cost $600 million.

"The 74,000 level remains a critical near-term support. Maintaining this support keeps upside prospects alive; however, declines below 74,000 could trigger a -5 percent drawdown in the index," the brokerage said.

K-Electric Ltd. remained the volume leader with 191.624 million shares which closed higher by 53 paisas to Rs5.24 per share. WorldCall Telecom followed it with 94.786 million shares, which closed higher by 10 paisas to Rs1.45 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Symmetry Group Ltd, Pace (Pak) Ltd., PIAC (A), Cres. Star Ins., Hum Network, Oil & Gas Dev., Kohinoor Spining and Dewan Motors. In Future Market, 317 companies recorded trading, of which 170 increased, 143 decreased and 4 remained unchanged.