Stocks close flat on profit-taking | The Express Tribune


The Pakistan Stock Exchange witnessed a range-bound trading session on Tuesday, as jittery investors resorted to profit-booking mainly owing to the uncertain political situation in the country.

The benchmark KSE-100 index, after remaining in the green zone for most of the day, succumbed to late-session selling pressure and ended the day with a loss of 26 points.

Besides the domestic political noise, the continuous fall of the rupee against the US dollar, which touched another record low at Rs181.73 in the inter-bank market, sparked concerns over macroeconomic stability among market players, who rushed to offload their holdings.

Earlier, the trading session commenced on a positive note as the benchmark index touched an intra-day high of 43,398 points in the first half of the day. With some oscillation, the index managed to remain in the green zone throughout the first half.

However, the second half witnessed across-the-board profit-taking as the index erased all the gains, touching an intra-day low of 43,164 points. A brief buying spree in the final hour pushed the index to end trading on a flat note.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 26.43 points, or 0.06%, to settle at 43,203.79 points.

Topline Securities, in its report, said that Pakistan equities carried forward the previous day’s buying momentum where investors opted to invest funds in blue-chip stocks, which had attractive dividend yields.

Initially, oil stocks led the show as they came on the investors’ radar following a recent rally in global crude prices.

Power, technology and fertiliser sectors made a positive contribution to the benchmark index by adding 71 points cumulatively.

On the flip side, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, Bank AL Habib and Lucky Cement faced some profit-taking and lost 53 points collectively.

A report of Arif Habib Limited stated that a range-bound session was observed due to the political noise and rupee devaluation against the dollar.

“The market opened in the green zone but stayed volatile throughout 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, profit-taking was witnessed, which led the index to close in the red zone, the report said.

Sectors contributing to the performance included banks (-36.2 points), exploration and production (-25.1 points), cement (-18.9 points) and auto parts (-12 points).

JS Global analyst Mubashir Anis Naviwala said that market activity remained range bound due to concerns over domestic politics and the economic outlook.

“Uncertainty kept investors away from healthy participation,” he said. “The benchmark KSE-100 index moved 234 points, touching a high of 43,398 and low of 43,164.”

Major contribution to the traded volume came from Treet Corporation (+0.7%), TPL Properties (+2.9%), Summit Bank (+4.2%), Telecard Limited (+2.2%) and WorldCall Telecom (+3.4%).

“Going forward, we expect range-bound activity to continue in the upcoming sessions where investors are recommended to avail any downside as an opportunity to buy in technology, cement and textile sectors,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes increased to 138.3 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 124.9 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5 billion.

Shares of 320 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 155 stocks closed higher, 143 declined and 22 remained unchanged.

Treet Corporation was the volume leader with 15.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.2 to close at Rs30.07. It was followed by TPL Properties (XB) with 8.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.5 to close at Rs17.88 and Pak Elektron (R) with 7.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.09 to close at Re1.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs174.4 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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