Undeterred by Pakistan Stock Exchange attack, stocks gain 242 points


KARACHI: Stocks fought their way to a decent finish at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday despite an attack which killed seven people including four terrorists as the PSX opened for the day’s business

PSX benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.71% or 242.31 points to close at 34,181.80 points, while KSE-30 followed suit with a high of 0.49% or 72.46 points to end at 14,752.61 points level.

The market for a brief period dipped sharply and the index touched the session-low of 33,718 points, while short covering and some fresh buying from institutions helped the market to touch a high of 34,207 points.

“Stocks closed higher as investor weighed a surge in local petroleum products’ prices and central bank’s recent rate cut, supporting economic recovery and approval of federal budget FY21 by the National Assembly,” Arif Habib Corporations’ analyst Ahsan Mehanti said.

Higher global crude oil prices, improving OMCs (oil marketing companies) margins, better banking spreads, and a current account surplus in May kept the PSX bullish, Mehanti added.

Of 351 active scrips, 193 were up, 136 down, and 22 remained unchanged. Volumes stood at 156.920 million shares, as compared to 198.187 million in the previous session.

Salman Ahmad, head of institutional sales at Aba Ali Habib Securities, said, “The market finished with gains despite a deadly terrorist attack at the exchange that law enforcing agencies thwarted efficiently, killing all the attackers”.

“The market was up on some buying from financial institutions, expected meeting of IMF this week, and hopes of another interest rate cut in the third week of July, Ahmad added.

Saad Rafi, head of equity sales at Al Habib Capital Markets, added the market opened negative, following the retreating global stock markets.

Investors and brokers exhibited courage despite the terrorist attack, sending a message to the international community that “we as a nation and a country are resilient and can deal with such cowardly terror attacks without any fear”.

The market closed higher after E&P (exploration and production) drew strength from a hike in petroleum products’ prices, while approval of Finance Bill 2020 was also taken positively by investors, Rafi added.

“Strong valuations helped the index close in green despite terror attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange building, said Faizan Munshey, head of foreign institutional sales at Next Capital. He added the market opened higher and soon came under pressure after militants tried to fight their way into PSX building. “However, value buying at lower levels kept the gains ticking,” Munshey added.

The top gainers were Pakistan Tobacco, gaining Rs67.91 to close at Rs1,578/share, and Sanofi-Aventis, up Rs57.07 to finish at Rs818.07/share, while Jubilee Life Insurance, down Rs21.62 to close at Rs299.28/share, and Arpak International, losing Rs9.65 to close at Rs119.61/share, were the main losers.

Sui Southern Gas shares changed most hands with 11.660 million shares and gained Rs0.22 to end at Rs12.72/share.

Lotte Chemical’s volume was the lowest with 3.220 million shares, whereas the scrip lost Rs0.1 to end at Rs10.05/share.

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