KARACHI: The stock market witnessed see-saw trading on Wednesday, but the index still managed to close its 10th consecutive session in the green with late buying helping the cause.
The KSE-100 index increased over 300 points in early trading, but it was soon followed by profit-taking, which wiped out all gains and dragged the index down to the 41,200 level. Late buying helped the index recover slightly to close positive.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered an increase of 57.40 points or 0.14% to settle at 41,544.27.
Elixir Securities' analyst Ali Raza said Pakistan equities took a breather after the recent surge and closed marginally positive.
"Trading activity remained steady at a healthy level with 149 million shares changing hands on the benchmark KSE-100 Index," Raza remarked.
On the leader board, E&Ps, namely Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC PA +1.5%), Pakistan Petroleum (PPL PA +1.4%) and Pakistan Oilfields (POL +1.4%) contributed most to gains on reported local interest, while financials and cements witnessed mild profit-taking and notable names closed either with trimmed gains or little in the red.
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K-Electric (KEL PA +4%) was in the limelight and dominated volumes board on rumours that its issues related to multi-year tariff and deal with Shanghai Electric will be resolved in the coming week.
On the corporate front, the board of Sazgar Engineering Works (SAZEQ PA +0.8%) notified exchange of giving a green signal to its Four-Wheeler Assembly project with an estimated cost of $16 million.
"We expect the KSE-100 index to consolidate gains above 41,000 and trade in a range of 500-700 points," he added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said concerns over ongoing US-Pak relations kept the market volatile as the KSE-100 traded between a wide range of 41,289 points to 41,820 points. However, the index closed 57 points higher at 41,544 level.
"On the news front, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed Pakistani and Chinese enterprises to trade in Chinese Yuan (CNY)," said Mulla.
Investors' interest was witnessed in the E&P sector as crude oil prices remained at higher levels in the international market, where POL (+1.4%), PPL (+1.4%) and OGDC (+1.5%) closed in the green.
SAZEW (+0.8%) released material information that the auto maker has decided to incur a capex of Rs1.76 billion for its four wheeler assembly project of 24,000 units per annum.
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Also, news regarding pipeline augmentation project of RLNG played well for SNGP (+2.6%) as the stock closed higher than its previous close.
"Prevailing political situation may shake investor confidence for the short term, therefore we advise investors to book profits on the higher side," Mulla added.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 233 million shares compared with Tuesday's tally of 229 million.
Shares of 372 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 167 stocks closed higher, 185 declined while 20 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.4 billion.
K-Electric was the volume leader with 47.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.26 to close at Rs6.75. It was followed by Bank of Punjab with 13.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.30 to close at Rs8.89 and TRG Pakistan with 11.3 million shares, losing Rs0.72 to close at Rs28.98.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs650.7 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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