market watch: Index loses almost all intra-day gains

Benchmark KSE-100 index posts increase of just 7.35 points.

Benchmark KSE-100 index posts increase of just 7.35 points. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The index continued its volatile ride, losing most of its gains Wednesday to end almost flat in a repeat of what happened the previous day.

The wider market opened positive and the benchmark KSE-100 index was soon found over the 40,200-point. However, profit-booking and lack of clear direction moving forward meant gains were trimmed to the maximum.

At close, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark-100 index ended with an increase of just 7.35 points, or 0.02%, to end at 40,057.52 points.

However, Elixir Securities, in its report, pointed out the positives, stating that volumes picked up amid reports of foreign investors’ interest in index names, while retail ones remained focused in small and mid-caps.

“Market opened positive and gained steadily in early hours as gains in select financials, cements and index names pushed benchmark KSE-100 index to test 40,200,” said analyst Ali Raza.

“However, benchmark index failed to sustain at highs and succumbed to selling pressure.

“Index heavy Habib Bank (HBL PA +0.9%) edged up and contributed most to the day’s gain, while Engro Corp (ENGRO PA -0.6%) traded volatile and closed in red; both have their earnings announcements due (Thursday),” said Raza.

“Index heavy MCB Bank (MCB PA -2.2%), after churning most volumes since January 2011, dented KSE-100 index the most on reported institutional selling.

“Selective interest was also evident in lagging textiles with Nishat Mills (NML PA +1.4%) and Nishat Chunnian (NCL PA -0.7%) fetching most interest,” he added.

Meanwhile, JS Global said the market came under selling pressure during the latter hours.  “Index lost major portion of its intraday gain to MCB (-2.21%) and HUBC (-0.21%), as they both fell to close in the red zone,” said analyst Nabeel Haroon.

“ATRL extended its previous day gain to close on its upper circuit. This gain was on the back of better than expected consolidated earnings declared by the company, as it booked a one-time reversal in impairment in investment in its associated companies,” said Haroon.

“Volume leaders were KEL and PAEL with 17 million shares and 13 million shares traded, respectively. Moving forward we advise a cautious approach as market continues to consolidate at current levels,” he added.

Trade volumes fell to 239 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 240 million shares.

Shares of 414 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day, 178 stocks closed higher, 214 declined while 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs15.3 billion.

K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 17.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to finish at Rs8.62. It was followed by Pak Electron with 13.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.80 to close at Rs74.64 and Pakcem Limited with 10.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.88 to close at Rs24.23.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs969 million during the trade session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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