KARACHI: Amid prevailing economic optimism, the stock market maintained its record-breaking streak for the seventh consecutive session on Friday. Buoyant investors engaged in aggressive value-hunting across the board propelled the KSE 100 index to a historic closing above 75,000 for the first time.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation stated that the current account surplus of $491 million in April, reflecting increasing remittances and exports and the country’s overall foreign exchange reserves rising to $14.62 billion, continued to keep the market bullish.

He said the news report that the government was determined to secure a five-year extension in re­­payment of the $15.36 bn debt to Chinese Indepen­dent Power Producers also contributed to a record close on the PSX.

Topline Securities attributed the market’s positive performance to a decline in yields on T-bills. The market usually considers this an indicator of a likely cut in the State Bank’s policy rate since inflation has decelerated sharply and is expected to be 13-15pc in May.

Dawood Hercules, Hub Power Company, Thal Ltd, Engro Fertilisers and Fauji Fertiliser positively contributed 222 points to the index.

As a result, the benchmark index hit an intraday high of 75,401.12 and a low of 74,947.71. However, the KSE 100 index closed at a new peak of 75,342.35 points after gaining 411.65 points or 0.55pc on a day-on-day basis.

However, the overall trading volume rose 21.85pc to 496.69 million shares. The traded value, however, rose meagrely by 3.84pc to Rs17.63bn day-on-day.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Kohinoor Spinning (44.61m shares), PIA (28.76m shares), K-Elec­tric (23.05m shares), Dewan Cement (22.4­5m shares) and Pak Elektron (20.06m shares).

The shares registering the most significant incre­ases in their share prices in absolute terms were Nes­tle Pakistan (Rs149.82), Ismail Industries (Rs104.14), Hoechst Pak (Rs92.92), Unilever Foods (Rs40.54) and Thal Ltd (Rs33.48).

The companies registering the major decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Service Industries Ltd (Rs23.52), Khyber Textile (Rs19.98), Hinopak Motors (Rs10.16), Pakistan National Shipp­ing (Rs8.72) and Philip Morris (Rs6.99).

Foreign investors remained busy in value-hunting and picked more shares worth $0.45m.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2024

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