KARACHI : The stock market experienced another volatile session on Friday as investors waited for the upcoming monetary policy which is expected to provide some economic clarity.
Amid selling pressure, the benchmark KSE-100 index managed to end the week in the black.
Earlier, trading began on a positive note, but stock sell-off in early hours dragged the index down by over 320 points in the first half because of the economic slowdown in Pakistan projected by Fitch Ratings and the Asian Development Bank.
The bourse staged a recovery in the second half but volatility emerged later, leading to oscillation of the index between red and green zones.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 146.79 points or 0.36% to settle at 40,998.59.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said market movements were like a seesaw where the index moved between green and red zones. It hit an intra-day low of -230 points, followed by an intra-day high of +195 points.
“The divergent trend in the trading sessions can be attributed to the last day of futures rollover,” he said. “Moreover, buying was witnessed as investors took the opportunity to accumulate stocks at attractive valuations.”
Volumes remained subdued as 146 million shares changed hands during the day. The Bank of Punjab (+3.86%) led the volumes with trading in more than 11 million shares.
There was news that Finance Minister Asad Umar said Pakistan had no plan to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) instantly to get fresh loans.
Active investor participation was witnessed in the banking sector, where big banks contributed +65 points to the index.
Habib Bank (+2.71%), Bank Alfalah (+0.81%), Bank AL Habib (+1.52%) and United Bank (+0.02%) were major movers of the sector.
In the cement sector, investors had mixed sentiments as Lucky Cement (+0.98%) and Pioneer Cement (+1.19%) closed positive whereas DG Khan Cement (-0.82%), Maple Leaf Cement (-1.85%), Kohat Cement (-0.03%) and Fauji Cement (-1.76%) were in the red zone.
The auto sector showed a downward trajectory on the back of news that the Senate Standing Committee on Finance had rejected the government’s proposal to withdraw the ban on vehicle purchase by non-filers of tax returns. Indus Motor (-2.48%) and Honda Atlas Cars (-4.33%) were major losers of the sector.
“Moving forward, investors are recommended to trade cautiously and reduce short-term positions on strength due to lack of positive triggers that can potentially drive the market,” Mulla added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 145.9 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 149.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.4 billion.
Shares of 372 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 177 stocks closed higher, 178 declined and 17 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 11.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.44 to close at Rs11.83. It was followed by K-Electric with 9.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.14 to close at Rs5.35 and Unity Foods with 8.5 million shares, losing Rs1.41 to close at Rs31.43.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs150.5 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.