Pakistan Stock Market April’16 Performance and Outlook

Pakistan Stock Exchange continued its bullish trend in April’16 and closed the month with benchmark PSX-100 Index touching 34,719 level, posting a decent gain of 5.8 percent.

Rising crude oil prices along with a strong corporate earnings season kept investors interest live in selected sectors (Cements, Autos and Electricity).

Daily trading volumes improved with average for the month rising by a whopping 61.6% to 235 million shares against last 7-month average of 154 million shares.

Despite an increase in average trading volume, foreign selling continued to be the itchy point with foreigners selling equities worth US$18.1 million during April taking CYTD net outflow to US$122 million.

Coming down to sector performances, mimicking global oil price trends the Oil & Gas sector was seen taking charge (up 12.4% MoM) in what looks like ages,  followed by Commercial Banks (up 4.3%MoM) and Automobiles (up 2.6%MoM) while Cements ( down 0.7%MoM) and Fixed Line Telecommunication (down 6.4% MoM) lagged behind.

For May’16, analysts believe important points to be kept in mind will be: 1) MSCI EM up gradation review drawing closer, 2) upcoming budget proposals and 3) political stand-off between ruling PML-N and opposition parties over Panama investigation gaining strength, all of which can impact market performance.

Remaining dismal for most part of FY16, average volumes improved substantially by 61.6%MoM during April’16. Similarly, average traded value also increased by 34.8%MoM to US$97.6 million during the month review as compared to US$72.4 million during March’16. While local participation remained healthy with NBFCs, Banks and Mutual funds buying US$44.15 million, foreigners remained net sellers with US$18.1 million.

The index heavyweight Oil & Gas sector turned out to be the best performer, gaining 12.4%MoM during April’16 as oil prices rallied on account of a weak dollar and eroding stockpile.

With market participants remaining hopeful for an inclusion into the MSCI EM Index, analysts expect market to continue depicting strong performance in May’16. That said, particular consideration should be given to upcoming budget proposals and the political stand-off over Panama investigation, where any adverse development can affect market’s performance negatively.

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