Lahore - The KSE-100 index resumed its upward trajectory with the week closing 0.8 percent WoW higher at 42,842 level. Experts believe where investor confidence is gradually returning post clarity over the political front, wait and watch strategy is broadly visible as volumes plunged during the outgoing week. Average daily volumes declined by 27 percent WoW to 208mn shares, while value traded decreased by 19 percent WoW to US$78mn. Banks and Insurance jumped in for fresh buying, absorbing a large share of foreign selling. Net FIPI selling during the week was recorded at US$37mn, where the selling was mainly witnessed in the E&Ps sector and Banking sector. During the week, cement sales for July-2018 were released where the sector's total sales registered 5 percent YoY growth, out of which exports increased by 9 percent YoY. As a result, the cement sector outperformed the benchmark, closing 6.1 percent WoW higher. Other sectors that recorded higher returns were (1) Glass & Ceramics (+11.2 percent WoW), (2) Automobile Assembler (+3.6 percent WoW) and (3) Textile Composite (+1.3 percent WoW). In addition to that, key highlights of the week were (1) cotton crop seen collapsing 21 percent YoY to 11mn bales in 2019 on water shortages, (2) Canada likely to award preferential trade partner status to Pakistan, (3) Asad Umer says Pakistan needs infusion of US$12b in loans immediately, (4) Pakistan poised for US$4bn loan from Islamic Development Bank, (5) US senators seek to block IMF bailouts for China's allies, (6) K-Electric plans dedicated RLNG line for Bin Qasim plants and (7) PTI government to form panel for repatriating US$200bn.

Experts said that Pakistan Stock Exchange underwent a see-saw ride before ending 337 points up WoW, closing a handful points below the 43K level barrier as concerns over macroeconomic stability and prevented investors from taking fresh positions. Further, investors remained cautious as Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) withheld the results of 2 out of 5 NA Seats (3 conditional) of Prime Minister in waiting Imran Khan; though ECP has now cleared him on earlier withheld seats (NA-131 & NA-53).

Activity was seen in Cement which added 216pts WoW to the index, as market rejoiced weak coal price outlook. On the other hand, Banks took away 69pts from the index on concerns over banking sector earnings outlook.

During the week, foreigners sold a considerable US$38.6mn worth of shares vs. net selling of US$14.6mn during the same period last week. On local front, insurance companies, individual investors and mutual funds were net buyers amounting to US$16.7mn, US$10.8mn and US$10.4mn, respectively.

The week ended with slowdown in trading activity by market participants as shown by decline in both volumes and value by 27 percent and 19 percent, respectively. 

During the week, Century Paper & Board (CEPB) announced its 4QFY18  result, posting EPS of Rs1.68 up by 68 percent YoY. Better earnings were due to improved sales, up 28 percent YoY, and stable gross margins at 13 percent.

NetSol Technologies’ sister company, NetSol Tech (Beijing) in China signed a major new agreement with tier-one auto captive finance company for implementation of NFS Ascent platform in China. This five-year contract with a new customer having strong presence in China as well as rest of the Asia-Pacific region, is valued at $30mn (approx). The disclosure was made as part of material information posted on PSX website.

Experts said that ahead of the new elected government, the Commerce Division and Customs Department are working on various proposals to curtail the rising import bill of the country.