March finally set aside February's 72pt gain to clock in gains of 1769pts or 5.6pc. This was the best monthly performance since Oct 2015. Foreign out flow during the month was . USD11.3mln compared to almost USD40mln in February, Since outflows turned consecutively negative from July average monthly outflow has averaged USD37.8mln. Subsiding foreign outflow combined with robust cement sales growth and encouraging quarterly results for cements companies helped spur the index. With the end of this quarter the index is now 323pts or 1pc ahead since the start of the year from its open of 32816. Turnover averaged 145mln shares while value traded was Rs7.5bln. Both were up 5pc.
Volume leaders for the month were NIB, TRG, KEL, JSCL and DCL.
Top performers were cements and refineries. Cements ruled the roost this month. ACPL rose 26pc Cherat shot up 20pc. Maple leaf rose 13pc. PIOC gained 19pc. Other scrips rallied 9-11pc. Fertilizers were a mixed bag with FATIMA losing almost 10pc. ENGRO and FFBL rose 12pc and 8pc respectively. Oil stocks also gave support to the index with MARI leading the pack with a 22pcpc rise while PPL and PSO followed with an 11-12.5pc gain. Other oil stocks managed gains of 9-11pc. Among banks only MCB managed a modest 7pc gain with HBL and BAFL losing ground.
The star performers among actively traded stocks were ACPL and EFOODS. EFOODS gaining 26pc on news of a foreign buyer looking to control the company. FATIMA was the worst performer announcing weak full year unconsolidated EPS and skipping annual payout.
Small caps which mostly led the volume leaderboard also put in double digit growth. NIB, TRG, DCL, DFML, TPL rose 15-22pc.
Monetary policy and quarterly results up ahead.
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