KARACHI: The KSE-100 index had a highly volatile run on Friday and closed almost flat as investors searched in vain for a positive trigger to steer the bourse forward.
At the beginning of first session, the market traded sideways but investors later cherry-picked stocks, leading to a rally by the end of first half, which took the index above 37,700 points.
In the second half, uncertainty prevailed, erasing all the earlier gains, as investors offloaded their holdings, dragging the market close to the starting point.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of just 5.48 points or 0.01% to settle at 37,547.49.
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Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market moved in a positive direction amid thin volumes. "The exploration and production (E&P) sector played well on the back of higher international crude oil prices," it stated.
"Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Petroleum Limited and Pakistan Oilfields Limited rose but volumes remained thin due to overall market sentiment and selling pressure from institutions."
The previous day's trading flow indicated that the insurance sector was making a negative bet on the E&P sector.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) performed better than United Bank Limited (UBL), gaining in value, but its advance remained muted.
Volumes were seen in the technology sector, followed by cement and chemical sectors.
Stocks that contributed positively included HBL (+39 points), Dawood Hercules (+26 points) and UBL (+24 points). Stocks that contributed negatively were Hubco (-18 points), Nestle (-15 points) and Engro (-11 points).
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Overall, trading volumes decreased to 64.43 million shares compared with Thursday's tally of 67.96 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.16 billion.
Shares of 320 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 153 stocks closed higher, 140 declined and 27 remained unchanged.
TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 5.2 million shares, losing Rs0.26 to close at Rs22.08. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 3.3 million shares, losing Rs0.39 to close at Rs24.41 and Kohinoor Industries with 3 million shares, gaining Rs0.33 to close at Rs5.98.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs12.68 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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