Shares at PSX end slightly up after volatile session

Published March 31, 2021
In this file photo, Pakistani stockbrokers watch the latest shear prices on a digital board during a trading session at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE). — AFP/File
In this file photo, Pakistani stockbrokers watch the latest shear prices on a digital board during a trading session at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE). — AFP/File

The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) closed slightly higher on Wednesday, with the benchmark KSE-100 index gaining 97 points (0.22 per cent) to close at 44,587.85.

Shares were on the rise since the opening bell, with the KSE-100 recording an intraday high of 642 points, or 1.44pc, to reach 45,133.25 by 11am.

However, the market reversed much of the gains in the last hour of trading.

In its market review, Topline Securities said "Pakistan raised $2.5 billion through [a] bond deal on Tuesday which led the market to open with a gap-up," with the KSE-100 index hitting an intraday high of 642 points.

However, the market witnessed profit-taking in the last hour of the session where NETSOL, TRG and Refineries dented investors' sentiments, it added.

The total traded volume and value for today increased by 31pc to 443 million shares and 25pc at Rs25.91 billion, respectively. The volume leader for today was BYCO with 74.03m shares exchanging hands.

Ahsan Mehanti, an analyst at Arif Habib Ltd, attributed the stocks closing higher to investors weighing the "successful launch of government international bond deal of $2.5bn and receipt of $499m IMF tranche under reinstated EFF (Extended Fund Facility) and stronger rupee".

He noted that the oil stocks remained under pressure on weak global crude oil prices.

"Institutional support on the quarter-end close, surge in [foreign exchange] reserves to new all-time high of $23.5bn and World Bank's improved forecast for 1.3pc growth in FY21 played a catalyst role in bullish close at [the] PSX," Mehanti added.

In the morning session, commercial banks contributed 116 points to the benchmark index, followed by cement stocks with 82 points.

The surge was supported by the government's first foray into the international market that raised $2.5 billion in three dollar bonds of five, 10 and 30 years.

Receiving over 50pc oversubscription to $5.3 billion, this was the first international capital market transaction since the PTI came to power in August 2018.

Last week’s revival of the $6 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme after a year of virtual suspension followed by $1.3bn commitment from the World Bank has also improved investor confidence.

Commenting on the development, newly appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar said: "With five, 10 and 30 year Eurobonds at 6pc, 7.375pc and 8.875pc, leading global investors showed great confidence in our country's economy and future outlook."

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