Stocks climb up on expected earnings season rally in financials

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Stocks climbed up on Thursday, as investors put bets on upcoming earnings results in financial sector and positive news that Financial Action Task Force (FATF) officials expressed satisfaction over measures taken by Pakistan to curb money laundering and terror financing, dealers said.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporation said, “Stocks closed higher on investor speculation in the earning season rally at PSX amid surge in global crude oil prices and expectations for strong financial results in the banking sector due next week.”

Investor concerns over rising public debt and uncertainty in global equities, did invite some mid-session pressure, he said, adding that easing political noise and affirmations over Pakistan bailout packages played a catalytic role in the higher close at the PSX.

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Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.43 percent or 168.59 points to close at 39,090.28 points level. KSE-30 shares index followed suit with a high of 0.69 percent or 128.23 points to end at 18,607.58 points level.

Of 336 active scrips, 137 moved up, 184 retreated, and 15 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 112.051 billion shares, as compared with the turnover of 133.847 billion shares in the previous session.

Adil Ghaffar, CEO of First Equity Modaraba said, “The apprehension of Pakistan getting blacklisted has been diluted following a meeting of the country’s delegation with the FATF officials.” The next meeting was due in May, and final in September to decide whether to keep Pakistan in the grey list or not, he said.

Also Read: Stocks decline as financial institutions opt for profit-taking

Ghaffar said the second money bill from the present regime would be floated soon. Present government had extensive and marathon discussions with different associations of businesses in Pakistan. “Entire business fraternity has an eye on what’s coming up and expecting all promises, made by the highest level, be inked to bring the much needed momentum,” he added. The FATF was reported to have expressed a degree of satisfaction over Pakistan’s efforts and action plan to combat money laundering and terror financing under international obligations and indicated certain areas to do more before May this year to get out of the grey list.

Salman Ahmad, director equity sales at Aba Ali Habib, said positive vibes from last week that a brotherly country could lend support to Pakistan to arrest the declining trend in the foreign exchange reserves to stem domestic currency from free fall also helped. “The agreement with the IMF would get hefty support from the local as well as foreign investors, building new rally at the stock market,” Salman added.

The highest gainers were Rafhan Maize, up Rs200.00 to close at Rs6,700.00/share, and Pakistan Tobacco, up Rs79.00 to finish at Rs2,793.90/share.

Companies that booked highest losses were Pakistan Services, down Rs53.00 close at Rs1,007.00/share, and Wyeth Pakistan Limited, down Rs41.37 to close at Rs988.63/share.

Bank of Punjab recorded the highest volumes with a turnover of 11.432 billion shares.

The bank’s scrip gained Rs0.13 to close at Rs12.71/share.

The lowest volumes were witnessed in Lotte Chemical recording a turnover of 5.387 million shares, and losing Rs0.33 to end at Rs17.68/share.

(This news/article originally appeared in The News on January 11th, 2019)

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