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Pakistan equities closed up 1.6% above 9k ahead of the weekend on late trading mainly led by locals. Stocks opened negative due to early morning bomb attack on the intelligence office in northern border city of Peshawar but covered losses and gained as locals took advantage at weakness. Moreover, peaceful elections in the northern Gilgit Baltistan area that wrapped up yesterday and saw participation by all major political parties boosted confidence in the current democratic setup. OGDC and MCB that were under pressure for the last two sessions witnessed a pullback to close +2.5% and +1.2% on rumors that FII selling has subsided. Moreover, key sentiment driver JSCL PA closed strong, up 4.86% trading over 17mn shares as investors eye +PKR35/sh in the coming days. PTC traded more than 10mn shares up 1.4% at close and we recommend BUY with June end TP of PKR26.6/sh. ENGRO continued to gain as locals refuse to book profits despite +7% increase in two days on news of inclusion in MSCI Frontier markets.
We anticipate activity to pickup next week and expect stocks to gain on possible rate cut in the upcoming MPS also indicated by declining PIB yields in the secondary market. Looking at index to test 9500 as most negatives in our view are priced in.