KARACHI: Stocks bounced back on Tuesday to recover more than half of the massive losses sustained a day before. The KSE-100 index opened in the positive and edged up by 145 points only to be pulled back. But as investors worried over another day of heavy declines, the stocks began to mount.
At the close of the trading hours, the KSE-100 index had regained 636.80 points (1.72 per cent) and settled at 37,695.75 after hitting the intra-day high by 676 points.
The figures of foreign and local participants provided by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan in the evening showed individuals as major buyers, who lapped up stocks amounting to $7.07 million followed by insurance companies which bought shares worth $5.31m who took fresh positions in stocks that had touched attractive levels. Foreign outflows continued in the sum of $5.08m.
The optimists at the market were counting blessings of the recent unhindered fall in oil prices which set the stage for expected ease in inflation and a possible 100 basis points cut in the State Bank of Pakistan policy rates in the upcoming monetary policy statement.
“Every dollar per barrel drop in crude oil will save Pakistan $232m in import bill on annualised basis,” stated an Aba Ali Habib Securities analyst.
Traded value however, increased by 46pc to reach $106.7m as against $73.3m. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes include the Maple Leaf Cement Factory, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL), Fauji Cement Company Ltd, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and K-Electric, which formed 36pc of total volumes.
Gains in banks and fertiliser shares more than offset continued pressure in the exploration and production stocks. The two major oil stocks — OGDC and PPL — could not step out of the red, though both avoided the lower locks. However, it was offset by the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) came in for heavy buying and closed at its upper circuit.
The major gainers on Tuesday were Habib Bank Ltd, up4.5pc, Bank Al Habib Ltd 6pc, PSO 7pc and Bank Al Falah 6.4pc which together added 250 points to the index.
Exploration and production stocks continued to slip with PPL, down 5.6pc, Pakistan Oilfields 6.2pc and OGDC 2.4pc, together taking away 180 points. Lucky Cement, down 1.2pc was also a prominent decliner with profit taking coming through selectively in the cement sector. Most other cement scrips continued their upward journey.