KARACHI: Stocks went on a rampage on Monday tossing the KSE-100 index up by 899.85 points (2.62 per cent) so that it closed above the 35,000-level for the first time in four months, at 35,277.46.
The frenzied buying by investors was fuelled by market-related reasons such as the continuing exuberance for cement shares on expectations of volumetric increase in dispatches and strong prospects of cut in policy rates by the State Bank of Pakistan in the upcoming monetary policy.
Investor sentiments received a further boost by the expectations of downward adjustment in rates of National Saving Schemes (NSS) for which the summary had been forwarded to the Ministry of Finance. It raised the possibility of conversion of funds deployed in fixed income investments back to equities.
On the macro side, Pakistan had managed to keep budget deficit at 0.9pc of GDP, or around Rs400bn during the first quarter of the current fiscal, which analysts said was appreciated by the International Monetary Fund.
At the political front, peaceful protest by the opposition in Islamabad and lukewarm support extended by the two major parties, provided hopes for an uneventful end.
Foreigners sold stock worth $3.27m. Banks and individuals also booked profit but companies and mutual funds were heavy buyers. The volume increased 32pc over the previous session to 207.5m shares while traded value also rose by 31pc to $54.3m.
Sector-wise, cements added 90 points with DG Khan, Maple Leaf, Cherat and Pioneer all closing at their upper limit. In the banking space, all major players gained values while oil stocks also closed in the positive.
Among scrips, major contributions to the index upside came from Habib Bank, up 4.51pc, MCB 4.61pc, Hub Power 4.61pc, Engro Corporation 2.79pc, Lucky Cement 4.73pc, United Bank 2.97pc, Fauji Fertiliser 3.04pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1.97pc, Engro Fertilisers 3.09pc and Oil and Development Company 1.61pc.
Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2019