Stocks close flat as investors book profit

KSE-100 index edges up 8.96 points, settles at 78,810.49

Our Correspondent June 22, 2024
In KSE at least, more than a billion rupees drawn from the investors’ protection fund has helped compensate the victims of many defaulting brokers. PHOTO: FILE


Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday experienced volatility as the KSE-100 index closed flat despite the initial spike when it crossed the pivotal 80,000-point mark.

Investors saw consolidation in the market after the recent record highs, which led to the building of overbought positions in some attractive stocks. They opted for profit-booking at higher valuations.

In the morning, trading kicked off on a highly positive note, with a jump of 1,250 points in the KSE-100 index, which reached the intra-day high of 80,059.87, reflecting the continuation of the recent bullish trend.

However, the market could not sustain the momentum and started coming down within the first hour where investors resorted to heavy profit-taking. It resulted in the index plummeting to the intra-day low of 78,169.02 points later in the day.

Key developments on the economic front included the improvement in the current account deficit to $0.5 billion for July-May FY24 compared to $3.8 billion in the corresponding period of last year.

Apart from that, the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) recorded an increase of 23.78% year-on-year and 0.94% week-on-week.

“Stocks closed flat amid consolidation in the overbought shares,” commented Ahsan Mehanti, MD of Arif Habib Corp.

“Banking and energy-sector stocks outperformed during futures rollover while speculation about an IMF deal to avoid debt default played the role of catalyst in the initial surge at the PSX.”

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a meagre rise of 8.96 points, or 0.01%, and settled at 78,810.49.

Topline Securities, in its report, stated that a range-bound session was observed at the stock exchange. The index traded between the intra-day high of +1,258 points and intra-day low of -633 points and closed on a flat note at 78,810, up 0.01%.

Major positive contribution of 630 points came from Hub Power, United Bank, Habib Bank, Fauji Fertiliser and Pakistan Tobacco, Topline added.

Arif Habib Limited (AHL), in its commentary, wrote “the shortened trading week saw the KSE-100 gain 2.7% week-on-week, with banks outperforming during this period”.

Hub Power (+8.5%), United Bank (+2.1%) and Habib Bank (+3.06%) led the index higher. Conversely, Meezan Bank (-3.21%), Lucky Cement (-3.54%) and Engro Fertilisers (-2.44%) weighed the index down, it said.

Hub Power’s affiliate Mega Motor was entering the electric vehicle business in Pakistan in collaboration with the global brand BYD Auto Industry.

“The PSX’s outlook remains positive for the coming week, with expectations that gains will now surpass the 80,000 mark,” AHL added.

JS Global analyst Mubashir Anis Naviwala noted that the PSX began trading positively, but investors quickly opted to take profits at higher levels, nullifying early gains and pushing the index into the red.

In the second half, however, fresh buying emerged at lower levels, notably in the auto sector, driven by news of Hub Power’s foray into the auto business.

“The KSE-100 concluded the day at 78,810, marking a thin nine-point increase,” the analyst added.

Overall trading volumes increased to 471.3 million shares against Thursday’s tally of 452.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs20.5 billion.

Shares of 437 companies were traded. Of these, 138 stocks closed higher, 237 fell and 62 remained unchanged.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with trading in 43.1 million shares, losing Rs0.04 to close at Rs1.27. It was followed by Hum Network with 41.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.6 to close at Rs11.13 and Pervez Ahmed Company with 37.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.27 to close at Rs1.84.

Foreign investors were net buyers of shares worth Rs736.3 million, according to the NCCPL.


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