Stocks drift higher in sluggish week

Published April 18, 2021
The stock market remained sluggish last week, with the benchmark index gaining merely 120 points (0.26 per cent) to close at 45,306 points. — AFP/File
The stock market remained sluggish last week, with the benchmark index gaining merely 120 points (0.26 per cent) to close at 45,306 points. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The stock market remained sluggish last week, with the benchmark index gaining merely 120 points (0.26 per cent) to close at 45,306 points.

The average daily turnover was 368 million shares, down 10pc from the preceding week on account of Ramazan. The average traded value for the outgoing week was down 18pc to $100m.

The first trading session put a dampner on substantial gains the KSE-100 index had recorded in the preceding week. The index shed 208 points as investors worried about a possible lockdown amidst the ongoing third wave of Covid-19.

But the bulls captured the stock market on Tuesday as the infection ratio decreased while international oil prices surged 3.6pc on a weekly basis. This led to buying across the index-heavy exploration and production shares.

According to Arif Habib Ltd, the expectation of outstanding quarterly results, large-scale manufacturing inching up 7.45pc in July-February and foreign exchange reserves climbing to a five-year high of $23.2 billion also helped the KSE-100 index close the week on a flattish note.

The sector-wise contribution to the upside of 120 points was led by commercial banks (81 points), technology and communication firms (78 points), fertiliser companies (43 points), automobile assemblers (25 points) and oil and gas exploration entities (18 points).

According to AKD Securities, market sentiments in the upcoming week are likely to be marked by the financial results of commercial banks. MCB Bank, Habib Bank, United Bank and Meezan Bank will release their profit-and-loss statements for the Jan-March quarter next week.

Similarly, financial results of index notables like Mari Petroleum, Engro Fertilisers, Engro Corp, Maple Leaf, Amreli Steels, Aisha Steel Mills, International Steels, Pak Suzuki, Engro Polymer and Chemicals and Lotte Chemical are likely to determine the market direction in the coming week.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2021

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