KARACHI: The stock market ended its five-day losing streak on Tuesday, gaining 172 points in an otherwise dull trading session as investors waited for positive triggers.
The bourse began the day with a bull run that pushed the benchmark index up by 209 points in intra-day trading. It got encouragement from a Citigroup report which predicted that Pakistan may go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of September and would be able to secure funding without much US influence.
The market took a slight midday dip of 26 points, but Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) presidential candidate Dr Arif Alvi’s seemingly clear victory provided support to the index that marched upwards in late trading.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 171.93 points or 0.41% to settle at 41,753.89.
Elixir Securities’ analyst Zainul Abedin said equities closed in the green amid dull trading.
After a positive start, the market nudged its way back and juggled between negative and positive zones for most part of the day, he said, adding trading activity stood low with only 65 million shares changing hands in the benchmark KSE-100 index.
Investors remained on the sidelines in the absence of any positive triggers.
“Only $33.6 million worth of shares were traded in the KSE All-share Index – the lowest in almost two months,” the analyst said.
Despite shallow participation, cement stocks outshined and carried the momentum with Maple Leaf Cement (+5%) hitting its upper price limit and finishing third on the volumes chart with trading in more than 6.5 million shares.
Late buying in DG Khan Cement (+2.1%) and Lucky Cement (+1.1%) also contributed to the rise.
Major participation was seen in retail plays including K-Electric (+4.1%) and Agritech Limited (-4.5%), which later faced profit taking after the Economic Coordination Committee announced allocation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to three closed urea plants at 50% subsidised rate.
The stock had rallied more than 21% in five preceding sessions. The two shares together contributed 36 million shares or 23% of the total traded volumes on Tuesday.
“The market is expected to remain choppy and continue to consolidate in range-bound trading,” the analyst added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 126.57 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 159.21 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.1 billion.
Shares of 371 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 208 stocks closed higher, 142 declined while 21 remained unchanged.
K-Electric was the volume leader with 23.62 million shares, gaining Rs0.23 to close at Rs5.78. It was followed by Agritech Limited with 12.34 million shares, losing Rs0.37 to close at Rs7.84 and Maple Leaf Cement with 6.59 million shares, gaining Rs2.62 to close at Rs55.16.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs93.7 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2018.