Uncertainty persisted at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Friday as the benchmark KSE-100 index endured range-bound trading but managed to inch up in the end to close the week on a positive note.
Many market players opted to stay on the sidelines due to the prevailing political turmoil in the country amid continuously depreciating rupee against the US dollar.
The rupee touched another record low at Rs181.78 against the dollar in the inter-bank market on Friday, which instilled fears among investors and kept the overall trading environment dull.
Despite negative triggers, the index managed to stay in the green zone for most part of the day as market participants were observed cherry-picking stocks at attractive valuations.
The session commenced with a steep fall as the benchmark KSE-100 index touched an intra-day low of 43,375 points in the initial hour. It managed to recoup the losses soon after and soared to touch an intra-day high of 43,686 points just before the close of first half of the day.
Later, the index dipped to 43,522 points owing to the selling pressure, stemming from weak investor sentiment. The bourse hovered around that level and finally ended the session with a marginal increase.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 28.6 points, or 0.07%, to settle at 43,551.15 points.
Topline Securities, in its report, said that a range-bound session was observed in the market as the KSE-100 index traded between an intra-day high of 164 points and intra-day low of 147 points to finally settle at 43,551 points.
Major contribution to the index came from Lucky Cement, Habib Bank, Meezan Bank, Millat Tractors and Engro Fertilisers, as they cumulatively added 109 points to the index.
However, Systems Limited, Pakistan Oilfields, United Bank, Cherat Cement and Oil and Gas Development Company pulled the index down by 64 points collectively, the report said.
A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that the Pakistan Stock Exchange witnessed another dull day.
In spite of the prevailing political noise, the KSE-100 index managed to remain in the green zone for most part of the day, it said.
Main board activity remained dull. On the flip side, activity continued to remain sideways as the market witnessed hefty volumes in third-tier stocks. In the last trading hour, value buying was witnessed.
Sectors contributing to the performance included commercial banks (+34.9 points), fertiliser (+27.5 points), automobile assembler (+9.14 points) and investment banks (+6.12 points), the report said.
JS Global analyst Mubashir Anis Naviwala said that the bourse witnessed range-bound activity as uncertainty over domestic politics and the economic outlook kept investors away from healthy participation.
WorldCall Telecom (+1.3%), Dost Steels (+12%), Cnergyico PK (+3.1%), Telecard Limited (+0.6%) and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (+0.2%) were among the volume leaders.
“Going forward, we expect range-bound activity to continue and recommend investors to avail any downside as an opportunity to buy in cement and textile sectors,” the analyst said.
Overall trading volumes increased to 161.9 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 149.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.1 billion.
Shares of 320 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 162 stocks closed higher, 130 declined and 28 remained unchanged.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 22.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs1.56. It was followed by Dost Steels with 9.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.5 to close at Rs4.63 and Cnergyico PK with 9.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs5.25.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs118.3 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.