Political economy drives investor sentiment at booming equity market


Among other factors, the political activity near the looming general elections in the country is calling the shots when it comes to Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE).
Last Thursday witnessed the KSE climbing to a new high with the benchmark KSE-100 share index peaking beyond 17,000 points level.
The market observers attributed the historic positive to the politico-economic factors developing on the country’s internal and external fronts. The KSE 100-share index gained 148 points to close at 17,056.36 points compared to Wednesday’s 16,908.67 points. The intraday high and low the index hit on the day were recorded at 17,067.58 and 16,908.67 respectively, the closing point of the previous day.
Of the total 353 scrips traded, 205 gained, 123 lost and 25 saw no change in their price. The trading volumes were higher to climb to 271 million shares as against 218 million of the previous session. The trading value also rose to Rs 6.90 billion from Rs 5.49 billion on Wednesday. The market capital grew beyond Rs 4.263 trillion compared to Rs 4.22 trillion a day earlier.
The free float KSE-30 index also set in the green zone and gained 125 points to last at 13,931.66 points against 13,806.38 points of the previous trading session.
The day marked mostly the second and third tier stocks leading the volumes with Fauji Cement, the volume leader, counting its traded shares as 60.334 million, gaining Re 32 paisas on each of its stakes that were priced at Rs 7.48 in the opening and Rs 7.80 at closing.
Turnover on the future market also headed northward to stand at 22.983 million shares compared to Wednesday’s 22.172 million.
According to stocks analysts, the result announcement session had led other positives to help the index peak to the historic high.
Muhammad Sohail, a broker and senior analyst at the KSE, said the announcement of “good” corporate results was the leading attributable factor for Thursday’s stocks market boost.
“Good corporate results, foreign buying and a relative calm on local political front helped the equities to cross the 17000 mark,” Sohail, the Chief Executive Officer of Topline Securities, told Pakistan Today.
Another equity analyst Ashen Mehanti, a director at Arif Habib Securities, said the rate-cut by the central bank in its Wednesday’s T-bill auction had coupled with the favorable announcement factor.
“Stocks closed at record high amid rising trades in the earnings announcements session at KSE after the SBP slashes yield on T-bills,” the analyst said.
Other catalysts Mehanti cited were the investors’ hope for a possible cut in the SBP discount rate to be announced next month, rising local cement prices, easing political uncertainty and renewed foreign interest. The abovementioned factors, the analyst said “played a catalyst role in bullish close in stocks across the board at KSE ahead of major earning announcements due next week”.