KARACHI: Stocks kept up a broad winning streak for the third straight session this week with the KSE-100 index gaining 116.86 points to close at 22,347.29 on Wednesday. The index intra-day touched 22,539.26 points.
Foreign institutional investors have led the rally this week with the three-day portfolio investment at over $20 million. The overseas investors bought equity in the huge sum of $9.56m on Wednesday, while local participants, both institutional and individuals, availed the opportunity to take profit at high levels.
Companies, banks, mutual funds and individuals were all sellers of stocks in the net sum of $2.77m; $1.24m; $2.69m and $3.17m, respectively.
The major factor that has triggered the latest rally is the PM Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the US where already some gains have been secured. Those include the US State Department asking Congress to resume more than $300 million in blocked security assistance and an earlier approval by the Congress to release $1.6bn economic and military assistance to Pakistan.
Investors were keeping a close eye on what passes in the upcoming meeting between PM Sharif and President Obama.
The flow of mixed quarterly results has also kept investors on their feet.
The market capitalisation-based KSE-30 index was up 99.53 points to 16,946.78 on Wednesday. Shares on the oil and gas sector were in demand with the heaviest weighted OGDC and POL standing out as star performers, scoring gains of Rs7.02 and Rs10.58, respectively.
Dealers on the sales desk at Sherman Securities commented that the index surged 1pc in the first few hours on the back of foreign buying and as market waited for outcome of PM’s visit to US.
Sentiments got dampened slightly and market shed some gains as profit taking set in with talks of coal prices going up recently, consequently hurting cement companies.
Results of cement company, Lafrage Pakistan, also created a bit of pessimism on cement companies as LPCL announced very low profits possibly because the company operates mainly on electric grid and not on captive plant.
Engro Foods (EFOODS) ran up to its ‘upper lock’ as the stock saw correction after continuous fall in its price, following declaration of low earnings in 3QCY13.
Market volumes fell 11pc to 149 million shares on Wednesday, from 167 million shares traded the earlier day. Trading value stood slightly higher at Rs6.443bn, from Rs6.365bn. Market capitalisation saw addition of Rs33bn to Rs5.288 trillion.In all, 331 stocks came up for trading on Wednesday with the gulf between the gainers and losers narrowing down to 155 and 149. Another 27 stocks ended unchanged.
The biggest gainer for the day was Wyeth Pak Ltd up by Rs205 to Rs4,305 while the major laggard was Rafhan Maize traded ex-dividend, down by Rs196.67 to Rs5,050.
On the 10-top traded list, PTCL stood ahead of the rest with 17m shares, up by 53 paisa to Rs26.98. Lafarge Pakistan lost 98 paisa to Rs7.35 on 15m shares, Fauji Cement conceded 16 paisa to Rs12.35 on 12m shares, after two earlier days of ‘upper locks’.
Bank Alfalah gained 54 paisa to Rs22.41 on 8m shares, Bank of Punjab shed 23 paisa to Rs10.51 on 7m shares, Engro Polymer was up 8 paisa to Rs13.33 on 6m shares, Maple Leaf Cement added 18 paisa to Rs22.50 on 6m shares, NBP with volume of 5m shares lost 33 paisa to Rs51.89 after several sessions of healthy gains.
Engro Corporation was down by Rs1.21 to Rs137.30 on 5m shares and D.G. Khan Cement declined by 63 paisa to Rs71.16 on 4.2 million shares; the scrip having lost its charm after the announcement of lower than expected quarterly earnings.