KARACHI: The stock market once again bounced back in to green territory amid bull-run in global equities. However, trading remained thin due to short session on account of Defence Day.
After a brief upward open, the KSE-100 slipped 200 points lower as selling pressure drove the index. However, a buying momentum towards the end of the session helped the index inch closer to the 30,500-point mark,
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 252.43 points, or 0.84%, to settle at 30,467.2 points.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, said the short trading day, which is marked to signify the importance of Defence Day and solidarity with Kashmir, ended on a positive note.
"Early on, selling pressure was evident across the board mainly due to negativity created by rumour of rights issue by cement sector companies, however, the sentiment turned positive later on with the prospects of rate cut and latest CPI release," it said.
Financial and exploration and production sectors contributed mainly to the spike in index, where HBL saw upper circuit and both Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum saw rate spiking to highs in recent past.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the KSE-100 index blew both hot and cold on Friday, making an intra-day high of 336 points and stooping to a low of 203 points.
"On the news front, a worsening fiscal front of the economy, the IMF has decided to send its SOS (Save Our Soul) mission to Pakistan this month for suggesting ways and means to curtail the yawning budget deficit," he said.
Selling pressure was seen in the cement sector as DG Khan Cement (-1.2%), Maple Leaf Cement (-2.8%), Lucky Cement (-0.8%) and Fauji Cement (-0.5%) lost value to close in the red region.
"Moving ahead, we expect market to remain volatile due to geo-political tensions. We recommend investors to stay cautious at current levels," the analyst added.
Overall, trading volumes plunged to 48.2 million shares compared with Thursday's tally of 146.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs2.4 billion.
Shares of 300 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 156 stocks closed higher, 119 declined and 25 remained unchanged.
Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 7.2 million shares, losing Rs0.5 to close at Rs17.23. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 4.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs0.89 and Oil and Gas Development Company with 4.2 million shares, gaining Rs3.24 to close at Rs113.56.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs20.7 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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