The Pakistan Stock Exchange on Friday experienced a topsy-turvy session, still the KSE-100 index advanced modestly owing to cherry-picking by investors.
Though trading remained volatile throughout the day, the benchmark index added 169 points to close the week on a positive note. Investors opted to make fresh investment in stocks that had fallen to attractive valuations due to the recent bear run.
Moreover, news reports about liquidity injection by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) through open market operations bolstered the confidence of market participants.
The first half of the session kicked off with a decline, however, the news of liquidity injection revived investor interest, helping propel the market higher.
Owing to fresh investment by market participants, the KSE-100 index ended the first half with a gain of 234 points. However, volatility gripped the market in the second half and market uncertainty erased some of the gains by the end of trading. Nevertheless, the index managed to close the day in the green.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 169.48 points, or 0.39%, to settle at 43,900.68.
A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that the KSE-100 index closed in the green zone as the market celebrated the injection of liquidity by the central bank via open market operations for 63 days at 9.9%, which was a signal of stability.
The market stayed volatile in the first hour after the start of trading due to the declining foreign exchange reserves and FTSE rebalancing, with expectation of a foreign selling spree.
Soon after liquidity injection news came, a bullish trend emerged, mainly in cement and steel sectors. Main board activity remained gloomy.
The market continued to trade sideways as it witnessed hefty volumes in third-tier stocks.
Sectors contributing to the performance included cement (+70 points), commercial banks (+60 points), exploration and production (+35 points) and technology and communication (+28 points).
“Moving forward, economic numbers like the Consumer Price Index, current account deficit, foreign exchange reserves along with timing of IMF programme resumption will play a vital role in shaping direction of the market,” the report said.
JS Global analyst Muhammad Mubashir said that the bourse witnessed a range-bound activity as the KSE-100 index touched a high and low of 44,004 and 43,556 respectively.
Total traded value dropped to Rs8.04 billion, a decline of 20% day-on-day. Traded volume stood at 252 million shares with WorldCall Telecom (-2.7%), Hum Network (+5.3%), Telecard Limited (-0.6%), TRG Pakistan (-1.3%) and Byco Petroleum (-0.8%) being the volume leaders.
“Going forward, we expect range-bound activity to continue in coming sessions,” the analyst said. “We recommend investors to avail any downside as an opportunity to buy in cement and steel sectors.”
Overall trading volumes decreased to 252.2 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 312.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.1 billion.
Shares of 327 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 180 stocks closed higher, 132 declined and 15 remained unchanged.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 29.2 million shares, losing Rs0.06 to close at Rs2.15. It was followed by Hum Network with 25.96 million shares, gaining Rs0.32 to close at Rs6.33 and Telecard Limited with 17.5 million shares, losing Rs0.1 to close at Rs15.65.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs414.54 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.