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Stocks manage modest gains despite profit-taking

KARACHI: The momentum of the strong recent rally that saw over 1,000 points gain in the last two days sustained in the early hours of trading on Wednesday with the KSE-100 index rising by 260 points testing the intra-day new all-time high at 39,291.65.

However, the risk appetite of investors seemed to wane mid-day and the index retreated to retain modest gains of 17.84 points (0.05 per cent) and close at 39,049.46.

Volumes during the day were down 21pc to 196m shares, while the traded value decreased 18pc to Rs15.2bn over the earlier day. The significant feature was the continuous foreign buying. On Wednesday foreign fund managers bought stocks worth $7.1m. It marked the fourth consecutive day of net foreign buying taking the aggregate inflows during July to $24.1m.

“From contribution to index perspective, PPL, HUBC, HBL, MCB & ABOT added 98 points while FML, KAPCO, DAWH, FFC and ENGRO took away 121 points”, said analysts at Intermarket Securities. From a sector perspective, autos remained in the limelight due to further depreciation of the Yen; GHNL and GHNI closed on their upper circuits.

Pharmaceuticals also staged a comeback after a brief phase of profit taking in the previous session with GLAXO & ABOT closing on their upper circuits. Considering yesterday’s rally in international crude oil prices, E&P sector managed to close in the green whereas refineries witnessed profit taking along with mixed performance from OMCs. Performance of Fertilizers, Cements, Steel and Textile remained mixed.

Analyst Arhum Ghous at JS Global stated that the automobile sector extended its previous day gain with HCAR up 0.87pc and INDU higher 1.37pc. E&P sector continued to garner investor interest, as POL rose 1.40pc, PPL 1.59pc and OGDC 0.41pc in the wake of recent discoveries and some bounce back in global oil prices.