KARACHI: The stock market experienced subdued trading compared to the past sessions, with the benchmark index closing on a flat note on the last trading day of the week.
Bullish activity was witnessed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in the pre-earnings season on the back of renewed foreign inflows, upbeat data of foreign exchange reserves and Moody’s positive reports. However, the upward momentum could not be sustained as selling pressure drove the index down.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 91.15 points, or 0.22%, to settle at 40,732.25.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said equities closed on a flat note with the benchmark KSE-100 index gaining 91 points and closing at 40,732.
“On the economic front, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved two loans totalling $1.3 billion for budgetary support and key reforms in Pakistan to help strengthen the country’s economy,” he added.
Furthermore, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reiterated that Pakistan should shift to an export-based economy in order to achieve sustainable growth.
“Once again value buying was witnessed at the bourse. Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL, +1.9%), Bank AL Habib (+2.4%), Hubco (+1.3%), Engro Fertilisers (+2.4%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC, +1.2%) contributed to the positive close.”
Traded value stood at $98 million, down 25% and volumes came in at 417 million shares, down 18%. Major contribution to the total market volume came from Unity Foods (+6.2%), Fauji Cement (+2.6%), Maple Leaf Cement (+0.2%), Fauji Fertiliser (-1.6%) and Maple Leaf Cement (R) (-3.4%).
“Moving ahead, we expect the market to remain positive,” he added.
According to a report of AHL Research, “the market opened on a positive note, closed the first session up by 176 points and went as high as 347 points.”
“Sectors performing well were exploration and production as well as oil and gas marketing. Selling pressure, on the other hand, was largely witnessed in the banking sector, which had so far enjoyed a massive rally and now faced profit-booking.”
The cement sector also saw selling pressure. It led the volumes table with trading in 84.8 million shares, followed by vanaspati companies (53.5 million) and technology firms (35.2 million).
“Stocks that contributed positively included PPL (+34 points), Bank AL Habib (+30 points), Hubco (+26 points), Engro Fertilisers (+23 points) and OGDC (+23 points).
“Stocks that contributed negatively were PSO (-27 points), HBL (-21 points), Searl (-15 points), Kapco (-14 points) and Lucky Cement (-14 points),” it said.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 416.9 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 507.9 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs15.2 billion.
Shares of 382 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 185 stocks closed higher, 185 declined and 12 remained unchanged.
Unity Foods was the volume leader with 53.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.82 to close at Rs13.96. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 31.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.44 to close at Rs17.51 and Maple Leaf Cement with 18.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.04 to close at Rs24.16.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs55.96 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.