KARACHI: The stock market remained bullish for much of the first trading day of the week. At close, the index was up by 176.15 points (0.44 per cent) and settled at 40,340.17. The trading started out on the positive note with investors seen cherry picking in selected sectors.
During the intraday trade the index made a high and low of 327 and 86 points.
The market was encouraged by the consistent improvement of rupee against the dollar and the sizeable growth of 68pc in foreign direct investment month-on-month in September.
Fertiliser off-take numbers helped the sector to take a lead among gaining sectors with several fertiliser stocks to post gains. Investors were thankful for the static figures of new cases of Covid-19 while it was spreading rapidly in other countries. Finally, the result season held investor interest as most forecasts by market experts suggested release of improved post-Covid quarterly financial results by corporates.
The Financial Action Task Force plenary session is expected to announce decision where Pakistan may get relief from Enhanced Follow-up List. It did not prevent investors to take fresh positions in heavily discounted blue chip.
The market also discounted the political noise as something representing more of sound and fury with no negative outcome for the government. Foreign investors continued their selling spree resulting in outflow of $1.07 million.
Among local participants, individuals also stood on the side-lines waiting to buy at dips. The index heavyweight exploration and production sector contributed positively to the index as the financial results of four major E&P companies are due to be unveiled in the next few days. Traded volumes were up 25pc over the previous session to 319.6m shares while the traded value also increased by 3pc to reach $49.0m.
Scrips that contributed most to the index rise included Engro, up 62 points, Engro Fertiliser 23 points, Mari Petroleum 20 points, Meezan Bank Ltd 16 points Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Ltd 15 points.
Oil and Gas Development Company was another major gainer while Shell Pakistan hit the upper circuit.
Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2020