KARACHI: In sharp contrast to the volatility of the preceding week, the stock market had a range-bound session on Monday as regional tensions ebbed and it managed to close on a positive note.
The benchmark KSE-100 index oscillated between red and green zones as certain sectors experienced selling pressure. Investors were concerned over the surging fiscal deficit, subdued economic growth and high inflation, which prevented the index from advancing further.
However, an announcement by Fitch Ratings that affirmed Pakistan’s rating at ‘B-‘ with a stable outlook helped the index finish trading in the green.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 11.62 points, or 0.03%, to settle at 43,218.67.
Aba Ali Habib, in its report, stated that the stock market remained range bound as investors awaited the January monetary policy meeting schedule, which would set the strategy for 2HFY20.
“The benchmark index opened on a positive note and quickly added over 246 points due to lessening regional tensions. However, higher coal prices pared most of the gains in the benchmark index, which settled with a slight increase of 11.62 points.”
Investors’ confidence in the bourse improved after the Fitch credit rating agency affirmed Pakistan’s rating at ‘B-‘ and kept the economic outlook stable.
Major stocks responsible for pushing the market up were Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+Rs2.68), HBL (+Rs1.87), Bank Alfalah (+Rs1.51), TRG Pakistan (+Re1) and Byco (+Re1), cumulatively adding 118 points to the benchmark index, the report added.
Sector-wise, the commercial banking sector outshined as the most traded sector before the January monetary policy announcement.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 366.1 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 400.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.8 billion.
Shares of 364 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 195 stocks closed higher, 157 declined and 12 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 34.97 million shares, losing Rs0.05 to close at Rs13.28. It was followed by Summit Bank with 34.94 million shares, gaining Rs0.61 to close at Rs2.08 and Silkbank with 24.79 million shares, gaining Rs0.11 to close at Rs1.01.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs198.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.