Stocks see another dull day; earnings worries weigh

Stocks on Wednesday were draggy for the second straight session amid concerns that the COVID-19 lockdown may have clipped the quarterly earnings of the listed firms, resulting in below expectation corporate results, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.28 percent or 104.30 points to close at 37,804.61 points level. KSE-30 shares index followed suit with a high of 0.24 percent or 39.46 points to end at 16,407.70 points level.

Topline Securities in a market report said, “The higher international oil prices led investor sentiment with market making an intraday high of 286 points; however, profit-taking was witnessed in the second half”.

Honda Cars, Millat Tractors and other shares form the autos sector closed at their upper limits, meanwhile investor interest persisted in cement sector as the prices of this construction material were expected to increase gradually, resultantly Lucky Cement closed 3.82 percent up,” the brokerage said.

Of 409 active scrips, 185 up, 196 retreated, and 28 remained unchanged, while volumes reduced to 405.508 million shares from 457.216 million in the previous session.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporation said, “Stocks closed higher led by selected scrips across the board on speculation ahead of major corporate earnings announcements due this week”.

Higher global crude oil prices, Economic Coordination Committee approvals on Rs33 billion Naya Pakistan Project, agri subsidies, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s go-ahead for $250 million loan for socio-economic support, rupee stability, and a plunge in FY20 current account deficit led to a positive close, Mehanti added.

Salman Ahmad, head of institutional sales at Aba Ali Habib Securities, said, “The market is mostly showing mixed to downward trend owing to absence of big positive triggers, since the start of the week we are witnessing intraday corrections”.

Next week was likely to be shortned because of Eid holidays and the rollover, so the market was expected to stay in the same tight band and might witness intra-day downward corrections, Ahmad added.

Tahir Abbas, director research at Arif Habib Limited, said, “The market is in consolidation phase and investors are resorting to profit-taking because silence prevails on the economic side”.

Investors were cautious ahead of the financial results season, where most of the volumes concentrated around cement, technology, and other sideboard items, Abbas added.

Fahad Rauf, deputy head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, said, “Equities remained mixed throughout the session but managed to close in green territory, while investors chose to cover their positions and opted for profit-taking due to rollover week”.

Cements, autos, and E&Ps (exploration and production) led the index gains, cumulatively adding 125 points, Rauf said.

The top gainers were Rafhan Maize, securing Rs294.50 to close at Rs7,894.50/share, and Bhanero Textile, up Rs67.32 to finish at Rs964.94/share, while Phillip Morris Pakistan, down Rs50.09 to close at Rs1,750.01/share, and Island Textile, losing Rs48.52 to close at Rs1,158.04/share, were the main losers.

Hascol Petrol led volumes with 21.215 million shares and gained Rs0.35 to end at Rs14.08/share, whereas TRG Pakistan Limited with just 12.452 million shares was at the lowest rung on the turnover ladder, and lost Rs1.09 to end at Rs38.21/share.

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