KARACHI: The stock market recorded volatile trading on Wednesday as the KSE-100 index oscillated between red and green zones and finished the third consecutive session in the red.
Despite a positive opening, the index could not sustain the upward trend as it fell almost 200 points in early hours. Investors remained on the sidelines because of the current political and economic turbulence.
Although the KSE-100 surged to an intra-day high of 40,700 points, a lack of positive triggers pushed the index down once again.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered a decline of 107.04 points or 0.26% to finish at 40,503.68 points.
According to Elixir Securities, Pakistan equities fell in lacklustre trading as most investors remained uninterested in the absence of near-term positive triggers.
“Oil was the only key sector that managed a green finish as investors tracked higher global crude while other sectors inched lower seeing very selective institutional participation,” stated the report.
MCB Bank (+2.1%) and Fauji Fertilizer (+1.7%) were the only two stocks that weathered the downtrend apart from oil stocks that supported the benchmark index.
Sideboards and speculative plays contributed the most to the trading volumes with K-Electric (-1.9%) topping the volumes chart.
“(We) see directionless trading without any fervour until Friday while activity may see gradual improvement from next week as quarterly results season bring back interest,” the report added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the market remained volatile throughout the day, hitting an intra-day high of +166 points and an intra-day low of -296 points. It finally closed at 40,503, down 107 points.
“Profit-booking was seen in the market where investors started reducing their intra-day positions,” Mulla said.
Some of the major laggards were Habib Bank Limited (-4.04%), International Industries (-3.90%), Allied Bank (-3.59%), Engro (-1.40%) and Searl (-3.44%) that cumulatively contributed -162 points to the benchmark index. Trading volumes also remained low at 129 million shares, 30% down from the previous day.
Mixed sentiments were witnessed in the cement sector where Kohat Cement (+2.76%), Lucky Cement (+0.02%) and DG Khan Cement (+0.31%) closed positive and on the flipside Fauji Cement (-0.43%), Maple Leaf Cement (-0.88%) and Pioneer Cement (-0.74%) closed in the red zone.
The exploration and production sector gained value as crude oil prices edged higher for the third consecutive day in the global market. Pakistan Oilfields Limited (+1.24%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.55%) were major gainers of the sector.
“We believe negativity in the market will continue on the back of political uncertainties and concerning economic indicators. Expecting such volatility, we recommend investors to remain cautious until economic indicators and the prevailing political scenario improve,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 129 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 184 million.
Shares of 367 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 127 stocks closed higher, 223 declined while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.4 billion.
K-Electric was the volume leader with 11.7 million shares, losing Rs0.12 to close at Rs6.28. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 8.04 million shares, losing Rs0.19 to close at Rs34.29 and Fauji Foods (R) with 7.65 million shares, losing Rs0.51 to close at Rs10.57.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs733 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.