Market watch: Stocks advance only 45 points amid dull trading

Published: July 25, 2019
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Benchmark index increases 0.14% to settle at 32,446.40. PHOTO: AFP

Benchmark index increases 0.14% to settle at 32,446.40. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Despite a bearish start, the stock market managed to advance 45 points and ended the trading session in the green on Thursday.

The trading kicked off on a negative note as the index dipped over 300 points in intra-day trading with stock selling in cement, bank and fertiliser sectors.

The cement sector remained muted throughout the day, giving hope to short-sellers. Maple Leaf Cement ended the day near its lower circuit.

However, the KSE-100 began upward march later in the session as buying momentum lifted the index marginally higher. Many investors opted to remain on the sidelines amid poor macroeconomic indicators and political developments in the country.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 45 points, or 0.14%, to settle at 32,446.40.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said another weak trading day was witnessed at the bourse when the KSE-100 index closed on a flat note. “Such bearish sentiments can be attributed to ongoing political developments in the country,” he said.

Selling pressure was witnessed in the cement sector where Maple Leaf Cement (-4.8%), DG Khan Cement (-2.2%), Pioneer Cement (-2.7%), Cherat Cement (-2.8%) and Fauji Cement (-2.5%) were the major losers.

The banking sector remained positive where HBL (+0.9%), NBP (+0.3%), UBL (+0.4%) and Bank Alfalah (+0.2%) were the major winners.

Fauji Foods (-9%) from the food sector declared its 1HCY19 results. The company posted a loss of Rs4.43 per share during the period.

“Moving ahead, we recommend investors to stay cautious and adopt sell-on-strength strategy,” the analyst said.

According to a Topline Securities’ report, the KSE-100 index had another flat session as it gained only 45 points. “Investors continue to remain on the sidelines as trading volumes were down 25% to 63.5 million shares,” it said.

Contribution to the index came from Hubco (up 26 points), Oil and Gas Development Company (22 points), HBL (18 points) and Engro (15 points). Top laggards of the day were Pakistan State Oil (down 14 points), Habib Metropolitan Bank (nine points) and Lucky Cement (eight points).

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 63.5 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 84.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs2.35 billion.

Shares of 324 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 121 stocks closed higher, 174 declined and 29 remained unchanged.

The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 5.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.24 to close at Rs8.06. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 5.3 million shares, losing Rs0.94 to close at Rs18.84 and TRG Pakistan with 4.3 million shares, losing Rs0.68 to close at Rs12.67.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs254.3 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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