KARACHI: The benchmark-100 index endured a volatile ride, finishing almost flat as mid-day gains were wiped off by day-end as investors opted to tread with caution amid the ongoing Panama case hearing.
Volumes dropped with local institutions trading selectively in the absence of any major triggers with the KSE-100 undergoing a noticeable drop close to the 49,000-point barrier.
At close on Thursday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a rise of just 8.64 points, or 0.02%, to end at 48,713.63.
Elixir Securities analyst Ali Raza said Pakistan equities closed little changed in lackluster trading where the benchmark KSE-100 trading range-bound in a narrow band of 290 points.
“Activity in the wider market was relatively dull as only $127 million worth of shares exchanged hands on KSE100 index, down 20% versus Wednesday,” said Raza.
“Local institutions traded selectively in index names in absence of major triggers while ongoing proceedings on Prime Minsiter Nawaz Sharif’s family case related to corruption allegations also kept most investors cautious and on the lookout.
“Notable names across financials, cements and oils ended in red on mild profit-taking, however, fertilisers weathered the pressure and ended green with Fauji Fertilizer (+1.7%) leading.
“Engro Foods (+5%) also stood strong and closed at a new record high while National Refinery (NRL, +4.9%) was also up with investors cheering the company’s announcement of reducing its financing requirements.”
JS Global analyst Nabeel Haroon said volatility persisted in the market as the index traded between an intraday high of +229 points and an intraday low of -63 points.
“Slight recovery was witnessed in the exploration and production sector, as crude oil prices traded comfortably above $53/bbl level during the course of the day.K
“Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.18%) was the major index mover from the aforementioned sector,” said Haroon.
Trading volumes fell to 329 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 403 million.
Shares of 420 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 211 stocks closed higher, 182 declined while 27 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs18 billion.
Aisha Steel Mill was the volume leader with 24 million shares, gaining Rs0.67 to finish at Rs17.71. It was followed by Dost Steels Limited with 21 million shares, gaining Rs0.35 to close at Rs13.28 and K-Electric Limited with 13 million shares, losing Rs0.10 to close at Rs9.29.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs341 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.