Pakistan Market set to breach 40,000 level

The week ended August 05 2016 was a volatile week as the benchmark PSX‐100 Index declined marginally to 39,390 levels. The decline was initially led by the banking sector in the backdrop of status quo in the monetary policy followed by selling pressures particularly in cements on anticipated weaker dispatches attributable to Ramadan/Monsoon season slowdown effect. The point worth mentioning is that average daily traded volume increased by 23%WoW to 225 million shares. Leaders during the outgoing week were: PSMC, BAFL, KEL, SHEL and ICI, while laggards included: LUCK, PIOC, MLCF, KAPCO and MEBL.

Key developments during the week included: 1) Market Treasury Billions cut‐off yield posted a modest gain despite SBP maintaining interest rate unchanged, 2) Finance Minister and SBP governor alluded that there is no further IMF program under consideration, 3) PSMC announced increase in prices of its vehicle variants by 3% per unit in an attempt to maintain its profit margin, 4) Headline inflation rose by 4.12%YoY during the first month on the current financial and 5) SBP kept policy rate unchanged in its latest monetary policy statement.

Although, PSX‐100 Index is hovering near its highest levels, it is expected to remain volatile due to: 1) increase in political heat as opposition parties plan countrywide protests against the government, 2) weaker anticipated earnings in current result season owing to super tax and 3) volatile oil prices in spite of oversupply/surplus inventories. Financial result announcements of index heavyweights i.e. MCB, ABL and EFERT in upcoming week will likely to plunge Index downward on account of expected decline in earnings as a result of imposition of super tax and impact of negative sector‐specific factors.

Recovering from initial Brexit shocks with major global economies vowing to unveil stimulus measures to boost economic growth, international equities rebounded sharply during the previous month with MSCI EM Index returning 4.9%MoM. In tandem, PSX‐100 Index closed the month 4.6%MoM higher at 39,529 points, just falling short of the 40,000 level. Volumes also depicted a healthy trend growing 9.8%MoM to average at 189.3 million shares during the month. MSCI led foreign interest was evident in July with foreigners buying equities worth US$26.8 million against net sell of US$2.02 million a month ago (excluding foreign participation in EFERT divestment), building positions in Banks, Cements and OMCs. Amongst the main board, Automobiles and Parts, Cements and Commercial Banks garnered traction while Healthcare Services along with Multi‐utilities in the sideboard were key performers. Going forward, market’s performance in Aug’16 is likely to be guided by the ongoing result season where we see strong earnings performance by Cements & Textiles. Banks are also expected to remain in limelight with UBL’s above expected 1QCY16 earnings setting the tone for the rest of the sector. That said, political pressures can come to the fore with opposition parties (PTI and PAT) likely to stage anti‐ government protests during the month.

In continuation of what has been a persistent trend now, Pakistan exports remained lackluster in June’16, declining to US$1.65bn. Similarly, FY16 exports were recorded at US$20.85 billion, marking a decline of 13%YoY from US$23.94 billion posted in the FY15. The fall came primarily on the back of a slowdown in textile and other commodity related sectors with textile and food group slipping by 8%YoY and 13%YoY respectively during the year. Going forward, despite anticipated weakness in Pak Rupee, analysts expect textile exports to remain under pressure primarily on: 1) slow Chinese demand, 2) adverse exchange rate limiting GSP plus benefits, 3) concerns of an economic slowdown in EU following Brexit and 4) low cotton production, down by 34%YoY.

 

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