KARACHI: The stock market had a mixed session on Thursday as a lack of positive triggers resulted in directionless trading and the index closed the day marginally higher.
In the morning, the KSE-100 index opened lower because investors were wary in the wake of political uncertainty in the country. Moreover, the prime minister’s upcoming visit to China also kept investors at bay who were waiting for some positive news.
Despite the uncertainty, the market saw buying mainly in textile stocks, which helped the index close on a positive note.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 66.74 points or 0.16% to settle at 41,716.10.
Elixir Securities’ analyst Murtaza Jafar said the benchmark index recorded modest gains of 66 points and stood at 41,716.
“The market traded in negative zone in the initial hour, however, the tide changed towards mid-day when bulls regained the momentum and pushed the index to an intra-day high of 41,827 points,” Jafar said.
Textile stocks were in the limelight with Nishat Chunian (+4.92%) and Kohinoor Textile Mills (+4.98%) trading at their upper price limits. Nishat Mills (+3.2%) and Gul Ahmed Textile Mills (+3.23%) also attracted interest.
“The recently announced financial results from the sector have shown a multifold growth in their bottomline while rupee depreciation, government incentives, lower energy costs for the sector and expectation of timely tax refunds should keep the momentum going,” he said.
Among cement stocks, Maple Leaf Cement Company (+4.75%) outshined again with its price testing another upper circuit.
“Going forward, we expect market participants to keep a close watch on news flow emanating from the upcoming visit of the prime minister to China,” Jafar said.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 245.1 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 285.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.9 billion.
Shares of 381 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 223 stocks closed higher, 137 declined and 21 remained unchanged.
Pakistan International Bulk Terminal was the volume leader with 22.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.57 to close at Rs12.93. It was followed by The Bank of Punjab with 18.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.38 to close at Rs13.07 and Pak Elektron with 11.8 million shares, gaining Rs1.49 to close at Rs33.20.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs409.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.