KARACHI: The stock market experienced a see-saw session on Tuesday as the benchmark index failed to sustain Monday's smart rally and closed little changed.
In the morning, trading began on a positive note, taking the KSE-100 index above 41,000 points. However, in the latter session, the index succumbed to profit-taking, which wiped out all the morning gains.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered a decrease of 66.43 points or 0.16% to finish at 40,724.96 points.
Elixir Securities, in its report, stated Pakistan equities stood marginally lower after the KSE-100 index met resistance at highs and midday profit-taking completely wiped out all initial gains.
"Activity, however, recorded a noticeable improvement evident from $92 million worth of shares changing hands on the KSE All-share Index, up 60% vs Monday," said the report.
Shortly after a choppy start, the market regained momentum with auto stocks providing the early push as the sector came in the limelight after the government raised regulatory duties on imported cars by 15% across all segments. Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC, +5%) and Honda Atlas Cars (HCAR, +5%) hit their upper circuits.
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Notable names across oil, cement and consumer goods sectors followed suit and pushed the KSE-100 index higher by 560 points or 1.45%.
Pakistan Oilfields (POL, +3.5%) continued its rally on the announcement of one-off gains on account of retrospective effect of wellhead gas pricing of selected fields.
On the results front, International Steels (ISL, -3.4%) closed lower after announcing disappointing earnings.
"(We) see volatile trading to continue in the near term with flows and earnings guiding market direction," the report added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said bullish sentiments prevailed during initial hours of the day, pushing KSE-100 up by 562 points. However, negative sentiments brought the index down to 40,725 at the close.
Major index movers were Indus Motor (+2.18%), HCAR (+5%), PSMC (+5%), POL (+3.49%) and Searl (+4.88%) as they cumulatively contributed 102 points to the index.
On the flipside, Lucky Cement (-1.44%), Attock Refinery (-2.34%), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (-4.05%), Hubco (-2.10%) and ISL (-3.39%) were major laggards of the KSE-100, cumulatively contributing -98 points to the index.
ISL from the steel sector announced its 1QFY18 results where the company posted earnings per share of Rs2.31. MCB Bank (-0.30%), National Bank (-1.65%) and Habib Bank (-0.83%) from the commercial banking sector also shed points.
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Askari Bank (+2.28%) closed in the green zone as it announced its results for 9MCY17 where the bank posted earnings per share of Rs3.35 and dividend per share of Rs1, which came above expectations.
"The market is expected to recover in coming days; we recommend investors to trade in main board stocks and take long-term positions to benefit from undervalued stock prices," Mulla added.
Overall, trading volumes rose to 166 million shares compared with Monday's tally of 124 million.
Shares of 389 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 147 stocks closed higher, 226 declined while 16 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.7 billion.
Aisha Steel Mills was the volume leader with 15.2 million shares, gaining Rs1 to close at Rs18.16. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 11 million shares, losing Rs0.69 to close at Rs33.43 and Dost Steels with 9.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.44 to close at Rs12.24.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs67 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
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