KARACHI: The stock market on Friday extended its gains from the previous sessions as the KSE-100 index rose 122 points amid volatile trading.

However, investors resorted to profit-booking which sparked uncertainty and the index oscillated between red and green zones throughout the day.

According to Arif Habib Corp analyst Ahsan Mehanti, the strengthening of the rupee against the US dollar and hopes for allocation of Rs20 billion for a market support fund next week played the role of catalysts in the bullish close of the bourse.

Earlier, according to a report of Arif Habib Limited, the market opened on a positive note with a gain of 54 points and trading in 3.3 million shares at the opening bell. However, profit-booking started soon, which dragged the index into the negative territory.

Although buying activity was not across the board, bulls were still found to be in control, who pushed the index up by 185 points in intra-day trading.

Overall, the market seemed to have taken a positive turn in anticipation of creation of the support fund, which was likely to get the go-ahead next week.

Despite uncertainty, the cement sector outperformed the market and most of the stocks in the sector remained in the black.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 122.47 points, or 0.34%, to settle at 35,703.81.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said some profit-booking was witnessed at the bourse where the index hit an intra-day high of +185 points and intra-day low of -145 points.

“Traded volumes decreased 38% over Thursday’s session to 142 million shares while the traded value decreased to $40 million,” he said. “Volume leaders were Unity Foods (0%), Maple Leaf Cement (+5%) and TRG Pakistan (+0.1%),” the analyst said.

On the news front, the government formally announced that the budget for next fiscal year 2019-20 would be presented in the National Assembly on June 11.

The cement sector stood strong with heavy volumes where Pioneer Cement (+5%), Maple Leaf Cement (+5%), Lucky Cement (+3%), Fauji Cement (+3.6%), Cherat Cement (+2.6%) and DG Khan Cement (+1.4%) remained positive.

The exploration and production sector dragged the index down as crude oil prices edged lower in the international market, trading at $58.54 per barrel. Pakistan Oilfields (-2.9%), Pakistan Petroleum (-2.4%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-2.9%) were the major movers of the sector.

“We expect the market to continue the similar trend and recommend investors to buy on weakness,” the analyst added.

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 142 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 227.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.1 billion.

Shares of 313 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 150 stocks closed higher, 151 declined and 12 remained unchanged.

Unity Foods was the volume leader with 12.3 million shares, closing stable at Rs11.74. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 8.8 million shares, gaining Rs1.1 to close at Rs23.57 and TRG Pakistan with 5.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs16.45.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs518.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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