Weekly Review: Saudi support may keep market positive

Weekly Review: Saudi support may keep market positive

KARACHI: The stock market is likely to stay positive during next week owing to the expected transfer of $3 billion from Saudi Arabia.

Analysts at Arif Habib Limited said that the market to show positivity in the upcoming week is attributable to support from Saudi Arabia in terms of safe deposits of $3 billion in the upcoming week which will release pressure off of foreign exchange reserves, the slowdown in international oil prices which will alleviate inflationary pressure, and end of roll-over week.

However, the last date of MSCI rebalancing on November 30, 2021 might trigger foreign selling, current macro-economic concerns like rising imports, higher inflationary reading due to increasing prices of commodities, and pressure on currency could keep the market range-bound.

The benchmark KSE-100 Index of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) is currently trading at a PER of 4.5x (2021) compared to Asia Pac regional average of 15.0x while offering a dividend yield of 8.5 per cent versus 2.2 per cent offered by the region.

This week trading activity remained chaotic and gloomy with 2,375 points (5.11 per cent WoW; Highest weekly decline after 27th Mar’20) being eroded from the KSE-100 index which closed at 44,114 points this week.

The decline is attributable to i) State Bank of Pakistan increasing policy rate by 150 basis points to 8.75 per cent, ii) alarming current account deficit which increased to USD 5.1 billion in 4MFY21, iii) beginning of the roll-over week, iv) net selling from foreigners amid a transition from Emerging Market to the Frontier Market and v) decline in foreign exchange reserves putting pressure on PKR parity. Moreover, the announcement of a staff-level agreement with IMF failed to rejuvenate investors’ sentiments. Albeit, the index rebounded amid i) end of petroleum dealers strike post agreement with the government to increase margins, ii) news of Saudi inflow of USD 3bn expected next week, and iii) nosedive in international oil prices which might be a breather for the economy. 

Contribution to the downside was led by i) Cements (462 points), ii) Commercial Banks (326 points), iii) Technology and Communication (290 points), iv) Fertilizer (270 points), and v) Oil & Gas Exploration (252 points). Scrip-wise major losers were LUCK (205 points), TRG (177 points), HBL (114 points), PPL (98 points), and ENGRO (95 points).

Foreigners offloaded stocks worth of USD 39.1 million compared to a net sell of USD 25.0 million last week. Major selling was witnessed in Commercial Banks (USD 15.7 million) and Fertilizer (USD 6.3 million). On the local front, buying was reported by Individuals (USD 16.0 million) followed by Companies (USD 13.3 million). That said, average daily volumes and traded value for the outgoing week were up by 8 per cent and 13 per cent to 264 million shares and USD 60 million, respectively.

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