Market watch: Stocks inch up, but fail to gain momentum

Benchmark 100-share index rises 18.74 points.

Our Correspondent May 21, 2015
Trade volumes on the KSE declined to 80 million shares compared to 135 million on Wednesday. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Putting an end to the losing streak, the stock market marginally recovered on Thursday and ended the day in the black.

However, despite the positive turn, the bourse remained range bound and struggled to pick up momentum.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index showed a rise of 0.06% or 18.74 points at 32,617.74.

Elixir securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said though the market ended with a slight increase, volumes continued to plunge as most day traders and long-term players remained glued to the sidelines.

“The index moved in a narrow band of almost 100 points with some exceptions such as Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in which over a million shares were traded on foreign investor participation,” said Bilwani. “Overall it was a dull day where budget and some political issues continued to dominate sentiments.”

Topline Securities said the market was depressed, though bond yields fell in Wednesday’s investment bond auction.

“Local funds were again major sellers with net selling of $3.1 million. Banks and other investors, on the other hand, were major buyers of $1.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively.”

Trade volumes on the KSE declined to 80 million shares compared to 135 million on Wednesday.

Shares of 336 companies were traded. Of these, 148 companies closed higher, 159 fell and 29 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.9 billion.

Pak Refinery Right Shares (R) were the volume leaders with 7.2 million shares, losing Rs2.01 to close at Rs38.50. They were followed by Pak Elektron with 4.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.24 to close at Rs61.96 and Byco Petroleum with 4.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.07 to close at Rs13.36.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs37 million worth of shares during the session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd,  2015.

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