KARACHI: The stock market opened on a positive note on Wednesday, but succumbed to midday profit-taking with investors opting to book gains as the index faced resistance above 30,600 levels.
At close, the KSE benchmark 100-share index showed gains of 0.21% or 63.34 points to end at 30,465.43.
According to Elixir Securities analyst Naveen Yaseen, it was a relatively slow day at the bourse that saw activity in selected stocks namely Pakistan State Oil (PSO +0.7%) that was trading at a discount to the market and Engro Corp (Engro +1.7%) on talk of cheaper gas allocation to its fertiliser subsidiary, Engro Fertilizers (EFert +0.9%).
“Cement shares continued to generate interest as Cherat Cement (CHCC +3.85%) hit its upper price limit,” she said. Meanwhile, Lucky Cement (Luck -1.94%) and DG Khan Cement (DGKC -1.5%) recorded profit-taking.
“Oil names such as Pakistan Petroleum (PPL +0.9%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC +.5%) stayed strong as they continued to attract foreigners’ and local institutions’ interest alike.”
She saw selected interest as holiday mood set in with the KSE-100 index trading in a narrow range on thin volumes.
JS Global analyst Fahad M Ali expects the market to remain bullish as it enters the result season. He urged investors to accumulate fundamentally strong cement and bank stocks.
Trade volumes fell to 131 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 148 million.
Shares of 316 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 136 stocks closed higher, 162 declined while 18 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.4 billion.
Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 10.3 million shares, losing Rs0.10 to finish at Rs20.95. It was followed by Lafarge Pakistan Cement with 8 million shares, losing Rs0.23 to close at Rs16.52 and Maple Leaf Cement with 7 million shares, losing Rs0.11 to close at Rs33.38.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs381 million worth of shares, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2014.
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