KARACHI: The stock market experienced a positive session on Wednesday, but despite a rally of 283 points, the benchmark index finished trading on a flat note.
The KSE 100-share index opened positive and hit an intra-day high of 46,759 points on the back of interest in oil and banking stocks. The interest in oil shares was due to the resumption of rising trend in international crude prices after the chaos in Syria.
The index, however, failed to sustain the positive momentum and continued to drop as investors resorted to profit-booking. Owing to the tremendous gains last week, many investors chose to remain on the sidelines.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 9.77 points or 0.02% to settle at 46,486.50.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said Pakistan equities ended on a positive note with the benchmark index settling at 46,486 after hitting an intra-day high of 283 points.
“Major heavyweights namely Habib Bank (-0.19%), United Bank (-1.91%), Lucky Cement (-0.16%), Engro (-0.57%) and Pakistan Oilfields (-1.07%) cumulatively contributed -78 points to the index. Moreover, traded volumes surged 29% to 284 million shares while traded value increased to $97 million,” Mulla said.
In the exploration and production sector, Pakistan Petroleum (+0.61%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.45%) closed in the black as international crude oil prices held near their highest level in about three years on the back of political tensions in the Middle East.
However, other key sectors including financial and cement saw a mixed trend where United Bank (-1.91%) and Habib Bank (-0.19%) from the banking sector and Fauji Cement (-2.54%), DG Khan Cement (-1.22%) and Lucky Cement (-0.16%) from the cement sector closed in the red.
“Moving forward, we expect overall activity to remain volatile and under pressure in coming sessions with flows from foreigners and local institutions guiding market direction,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 289 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 220 million.
Shares of 391 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 220 stocks closed higher, 157 declined while 14 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.3 billion.
Agritech Limited was the volume leader with 19.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.94 to close at Rs8.31. It was followed by Lotte Chemical with 18.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.21 to close at Rs11.34 and Azgard Nine with 13 million shares, gaining Rs0.71 to close at Rs17.05.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs148 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.