KARACHI: The stock market cheered Finance Minister Asad Umar’s statement that dispelled worries over the country’s external sector woes. He asserted on Tuesday that in addition to the $6 billion bailout package from Saudi Arabia, the Chinese commitment for financial assistance has averted Pakistan’s immediate balance of payments crisis.
Although the modalities of the that relief package would be worked out in extended meetings of experts starting Friday, the news was enough to energise the bulls, who charged to break the two-day losing spell and head north. The KSE-100 index gained 585 points (1.43 per cent) and closed at 41,544.
The market opened positive and aggressive buying by investors in the lead of mutual funds that took fresh positions worth $3.96 million, the index quickly shot up by 368 points. The volume jumped 20pc to 277m shares while the traded value increased 14pc to Rs11 billion.
Lucky, DG Khan, Pioneer, Maple Leaf and Cherat Cement shares were the star performers, as they hit the upper circuits or finished closed to the upper limit. Overall, cement contributed 131 points to the index, the highest among all sectors.
Banking scrips followed with gains of 127 points where Habib Bank, MCB, United Bank and Bank of Punjab closing in the positive. Banks fared well regardless of conflicting reports about a wide breach of bank accounts data, with the Federal Investigation Agency confirming while the State Bank of Pakistan denied those claims.Exploration and production added 90 points with Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Oilfields and Pakistan Petroleum traded in the green despite decline in international oil prices.
Analysts said that investors would keep an eye on the negotiations currently under way with the International Monetary Fund on structural adjustments and news emanating from that front would set the direction.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2018