KARACHI: Stocks started the last week of 2015 on a firm note with the KSE-100 index up by 173.29 points on Monday to close at 32,674.04.

“For all of the year 2015, the index went up and down with no commitment to a move in any particular direction, making it safe to assume that in a nutshell the market performed sideways,” said dealers at brokerage Intermarket Securities.

The triggers for the recovery were higher global oil prices, mixed performance of regional markets and the prime minister’s promise of reducing gas prices for factories.

“Stocks dependent on gas supply, like cements and fertilisers, gained as the prime minister ordered the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources not increase gas prices till June 2016,” said dealers at Topline Securities.

FFC and FFBL were major gainers as they rose by 5pc and 4.61pc, while ENGRO and EFERT gained 0.3pc and 0.7pc. Selected cement stocks, like MLCF and DGKC firmed up by 0.8pc and 0.7pc.

SNGP fell 3.1pc as the company announced its FY13 results, which were thought to be below market expectations.

Traded volume increased by 15pc to 120 million shares and value edged higher by 3pc to Rs7.1 billion.

Foreigners were net sellers of $1.49m shares.

The index found major support from Fauji Fertiliser, followed by NESTLE (3.4pc), FFBL and TRG (5pc). Meanwhile, index heavyweight HBL (down 0.99pc) emerged as a major laggard, followed by PPL (0.8pc), KAPCO (1.09pc) and INDU (1.47pc).

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp cautioned that concerns remained over ongoing foreign outflows. However, rising local fertiliser prices, institutional interest in oversold oil, fertiliser and cement stocks were major sentiment boosters.

 

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