KARACHI: Buying in the final half-hour helped the KSE-100 end marginally positive after a dull trading session saw the benchmark index oscillate between the red and green zone all throughout the day.
The KSE-100 surged 135 points as soon as trading began, hitting an intra-day high of 43,875 before profit-booking and lack of triggers meant investors opted to stay on the sidelines. After staying in the red, value buying in the final 30 minutes propelled the index into the green, helping it close near the 44,000 level.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 88.59 points or 0.20% to settle at 43,829.08.
Elixir Securities' analyst Ali Raza said equities closed slightly positive after range-bound trading.
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"Contrary to our expectations of a robust session, market traded dull and didn't cheer the timely and peaceful culmination of Senate elections over the weekend; turnover in the wider market clocked in at just under $55 million, down 29% versus the 20-day average," remarked Raza.
"As market struggled to find a clear direction all day, few select stocks namely Habib Bank (HBL PA +1.3%) and Lucky Cement (LUCK PA +1.3%) came to the rescue in late trading and added 65 points to the KSE-100 Index.
"Key highlights included Searle Pakistan (SEARL PA +1.1%) announcing a joint venture with a Belgium food supplement manufacturer and Tri-Pack Films (TRIPF PA +5%) announcing expansion worth $20 million for production of metallised films to cater export and local markets.
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"[We] expect the market to remain trigger-hungry in the coming days. We see cement remaining in the limelight as investors look to get clues on retail prices, where any signs of further stability should bode well for the sector and market sentiment," he added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 137 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 230 million.
Shares of 359 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 170 stocks closed higher, 172 declined while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.9 billion.
Unity Foods was the volume leader with 10.2 million shares, gaining Rs1.25 to close at Rs26.27. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 9.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs2.51 and Agritech Limited with 8.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.13 to close at Rs8.79.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs94 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.