KARACHI: The stock market ended almost flat on Tuesday after a rollercoaster session, snapping a two-day losing streak.
A little bit of buying momentum developed after the benchmark index dipped at the beginning of trading in the morning. Later, the index started falling again and hit an intra-day low of 42,609 points with a decline of over 300 points.
The lower levels provided investors with an opportunity to cherry-pick stocks, which resulted in a smart recovery. Afterwards, the index fell again and ended the day slightly above previous day's level.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 83.94 points or 0.20% to settle at 42,994.96.
According to Elixir Securities' analyst Ali Raza, Pakistan equities closed marginally positive in a range bound and lacklustre trading session with the benchmark index ending just five points shy of 43,000.
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"The market opened on a dreary note and witnessed extremely low turnover, particularly in early hours, as most investors refrained from participation due to lack of direction and any positive triggers in sight," he said.
Later, institutional activity in selected stocks picked up and helped the market achieve a turnover of $62 million, down 19% compared with the current month's average.
DG Khan Cement gained 3.6% on confirmation in its quarterly report that the company would book a tax credit of Rs2.9 billion in the fourth quarter as its expansion programme in the country's south was on track to commence production by June.
Pak Elektron (-2.1%) recorded a massive exchange of hands near its lower price limit.
On the earnings front, Pakistan Petroleum (+1.2%) closed in the green after announcing earnings and payout that were slightly below expectations.
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"With the result season coming to an end, we expect the market to remain range bound in coming sessions with flows and news on the economic front guiding market direction," he added.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 145 million shares compared with Monday's tally of 168 million.
Shares of 354 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 165 stocks closed higher, 164 declined while 25 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.8 billion.
Pak Elektron was the volume leader with 14.8 million shares, losing Rs1.02 to close at Rs48.63. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 9.2 million shares, losing Rs0.40 to close at Rs36.95 and Agritech Limited with 8.8 million shares, gaining Rs1 to close at Rs7.85.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs11.2 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.