KARACHI: The stock market snapped its six-day losing streak as some buying activity helped the index surge to return to the green territory.
The KSE-100 shot up from the moment trading began as investors reacted with euphoria to news of UAE's deposit of $1 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan. The index managed to surpass the 39,000 mark, however, the development was not enough to sustain the momentum. Investors remained concerned over the trade data and a lack of progress regarding an IMF bailout, leading the index to drop nearly 68 points. However, recovery was seen in the later half, which helped the index to finish positive.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 32.44 points, or 0.08%, to settle at 38,928.93.
Market watch: KSE-100 inches down amid massive foreign selling
According to a Topline Securities' report, the KSE-100 index yet again experienced a dull trading session despite receipt of $1 billion from UAE, as investors adopted cautious approach over trade numbers where exports for Feb 2019 remained flat despite rupee devaluation and lower RLNG/electricity rates.
"Small scrips like BOP, KEL and UNITY remained in limelight as all of these remained top traded scrips on bourse with gain of 0.3-8% in their share price."
The auto sector remained under pressure on back of recent increase in their upper model prices following changes in economic reform package, the report added. As a result INDU and HCAR both lost 1-3% respectively.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the index observed a volatile session throughout the day, making an intra-day high and low of +164 and -68 points, respectively, closing 32 points positive at 38,929.
The cement sector declined from Tuesday's closing, where Pioneer Cement (-1.3%), Maple Leaf Cement (-0.4%), DG Khan Cement (-0.6%) and Lucky Cement (-0.5%) closed lower than their previous day's close.
From the banking space, Habib Bank Limited (+0.8%), Bank Al Falah (+0.6%), National Bank (+0.5%) and United Bank Limited (+1.0%) closed higher than their previous day's close.
Market watch: KSE-100 remains almost flat for second day in a row
"For the local market, we expect overall lacklustre sentiment to persist due to absence of major triggers. We recommend investors to stay cautious," the analyst added.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 93.5 million shares compared with Tuesday's tally of 89.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.3 billion.
Shares of 335 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 144 stocks closed higher, 165 declined and 26 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 23.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.26 to close at Rs14.41. It was followed by K-Electric with 8.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs6 and Unity Foods (XR) with 6 million shares, gaining Rs1 to close at Rs13.17.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs241.05 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ