KARACHI: The KSE-100 endured a volatile ride even as low volume persisted, with a buying burst in the last few minutes helping the index close positive for the first time in six sessions and the current fiscal year.
A five-session losing streak seemed like it was meant to continue as the index opened negative in anticipation of the verdict in the Avenfield properties reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law.
However, the subsequent announcement that handed jail terms for the trio resulted in some sort of clarity for investors.
At close on Friday, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 45.33 points or 0.11% to finish at 40,284.14.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said a lackluster session was witnessed at the bourse.
“Volumes remained subdued, as 104 million shares changed hands during the day,” said Mulla. “KEL (-1.59%) from the energy sector led the volumes as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) notified revised multi-year tariff for K-Electric, which was still lower than the tariff demanded by the power utility.
“The dull activity can mostly be attributed to political uncertainty and lack of positive triggers.
“On the political front, the accountability court convicted and sentenced former premier Nawaz Sharif to 10 years jail on corruption charges in the Avenfield reference. His daughter Maryam Nawaz was awarded seven years and her husband, Captain (retd) Safdar, was handed a one-year imprisonment, in addition to a cumulative fine of 10 million pounds.
“The cement sector closed in the green zone where big players such as FCCL (+0.18%), DGKC (+0.33%), MLCF (+0.13%) and PIOC (+1.13%) were major movers. Limited participation was witnessed in the banking space where UBL (+0.17%), MEBL (+0.61%), BAFL (+0.31%) and BAHL (+0.09%) closed in the green zone.
“Moving forward, we expect a bounce back in market as political ambiguities unfold after the verdict,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 103.9 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 143.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.34 billion.
Shares of 320 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 170 stocks closed higher, 123 declined while 27 remained unchanged.
K-Electric was the volume leader with 40.5 million shares, losing Rs0.09 to close at Rs5.58. It was followed by Pak International Bulk Terminal (R) with 4.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs0.99 and TRG Pak Ltd with 3.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.37 to close at Rs27.52.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs68.6 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.