Weekly Review: Market likely to stay positive on FATF decision

KARACHI: The stock market likely to stay positive during next week on back of conclusion of the FATF review and expected approval of IMF’s third tranch, analysts said.

The analysts at Arif Habib Limited further said that the market would also respond positively to the imposition by the Federal Government on export of essential food items (Onions, Potatoes and Tomatoes) so as to control rising inflation along with deferment of hikes in utility rates till June 2020.

Moreover, improvement witnessed on macroeconomic front, with the Current Account Deficit (CAD) shrinking by 72 percent in 7MFY20 and rising foreign investment in debt securities exceeding the USD 3 billion mark, also augur well.

The benchmark KSE-100 index of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) is currently trading at a PER of 6.9x (2020) compared to Asia Pac regional average of 12.2x while offering a dividend yield of ~6.8 percent versus ~2.8 percent offered by the region.

This week trading activity remained dull and index movement was mixed attributable to concerns over a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), convened to ascertain Pakistan’s status (Grey or White List); it became evident by Thursday evening that Pakistan is likely to stay in the Grey List.

On the other hand, investors remained cautious on the back of a strict stance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff to keep the budgeted revenue targets for FY20 unchanged while talks regarding the release of the third tranche remain ongoing. Despite increase in international oil prices by 4.5 percent WoW, Oil and Gas Exploration sector remained under pressure due to foreign selling. As a result, the benchmark KSE-100 index closed at 40,249 points, merely increased by 6 points or 0.01 percent WoW.

Contribution to the upside was led by i) Commercial Banks (+133 points) due to financial result of HBL and UBL was better than expectation, ii) Cements (+20 points), iii) Textile Composite (+15 points), iv) Leather and Tanneries (+11 points), and v) Automobile Parts and Accessories (+9 points).Scrip wise major gainers were HBL (+70 points), UBL (+53 points), OGDC (+37 points), MCB (+34 points), and FFC (+30 points). Whereas, scrip wise major losers were ENGRO (-65 points), PAKT (-54 points), and PSO (-48 points).

Foreigners offloaded stocks worth of USD 8.57 million compared to a net sell of USD 11.15 million last week. Major selling was witnessed in Oil and Gas Exploration Companies (USD -3.02 million) and Cement (USD -2.77 million).

On the local front, buying was reported by Insurance Companies (USD +7.84 million) followed by Other Organizations (USD +3.81 million). That said, average daily volumes for the outgoing week were down by 37 percent to 106 million shares likewise value traded decreased by 23 percent to USD 31.2 million.

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