KARACHI - Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Monday greeted 2018 on a positive note as the 100-share index closed up by 239 points. Market initially made an intra-day low of 302 points, however during the second half of the day the index recovered to make an intra-day high of 344 points and finally closed at 40,711 points.

Interest in heavy-weight stocks including HBL (up 4.12%), ENGRO (2.02%), UBL (1.11%), LUCK (1.07%) and DGKC (1.96%) cumulatively contributed 186 points to the index gain.

CPI numbers were announced yesterday that clocked in at 4.57% YoY for Dec-2017 vs 3.97% YoY in Nov-2017, creating excitement in the banking sector. HBL (up 4.12%), BAFL (2.31%), BAHL (3.17%) and UBL (1.11%) closed in the green. In other news, ECC allowed export of 35,000 metric tons of urea to Sri Lanka in addition to extension in the date for export of 41,000 metric tons of urea. Engineering sector gained investors’ interest as DSL (up 9.74%) gained to close higher than its previous day close on the back of material information released that the company has conducted successful trial production with start of commercial production likely by the end of Jan-2018, commented analyst at JS Global.

AHL report said market had a dull start and lack of enthusiasm from investors took the index down by 301pts at a point in time. However, mood started changing after positive news on increase in price of HDGC by Rs 2000/ton, which elated ISL and caused investors to take positive bets on unrelated stocks as well, such as SSGC which was conjectured to benefit from Rs 31b non-core income the other day. Major support came from commercial banks, O&GMCs, cement and fertilizer.  Scrips that contributed positively included HBL that added 104 points, ENGRO 33 points, BAHL 28 points, UBL 21 points, and KAPCO that contributed 19 points o the index gain respectively.

Stocks that contributed negatively included PAKT that shed 28 points, MCB 21 points, ABOT 13 points, HUBC 10 points and NATF that took away 9 points from the index. Volumes were recorded at 119m shares as against 241m shares on last trading day (down 51% DoD). Similarly, average traded value also went down by 52% to reach $40.4m as against $84.4m the other day.

Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included TRG, DSL, EPCL, DCL and DFML contributing a total of 51m shares, reflecting 43% share of total volumes.