Market watch: KSE-100 undergoes see-saw ride but finishes with 222-point gain

KARACHI: The stock market witnessed volatile trading on Thursday with the KSE-100 Index swinging between the red and green after a 645-point intra-day surge saw it surpass the 44,000 barrier for a brief period.

The KSE-100 shot up 645 points as soon as trading began, hitting an intra-day high of 44,004.13 before profit-taking erased all gains and even pushed the index into the red. Value buying, however, helped stocks recover to close in the green.

At close, the KSE-100 Index ended with an increase of 221.91 points or 0.51% to finish at 43,580.88 points.

Elixir Securities’ analyst Zainul Abedin said equities closed positive after a volatile trading session.

“The market opened gap up and climbed up to the 44,000 psychological barrier after peaceful conclusion of overnight protest by the opposition parties. However, announcement of a press conference by PTI chairman during market hours dented confidence and market snapped early gains to enter in negative zone,” Abedin commented.

“Rumour on the street was that Imran Khan may announce to dissolve Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assembly, however, sanity prevailed later on and market ended the day on the positive note. Among the key gainers, index heavy Engro Corp (ENGRO PA +2.8%), Habib Bank (HBL PA +1.4%), MCB Bank (MCB PA +0.7%) and Hub Power (HUBC PA +1%) contributed most positive points to the KSE-100 Index.

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“We see volatility to prevail as market attempts to cross 44,000 level,” he added.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said equities opened on a positive note after Wednesday’s political sit-in, making an intraday high of 645 points. However, bears entered and ruled the local bourse thereafter, resulting in the index making an intraday low of 166 points.

Major index contributors of the day were ENGRO (+2.77%), HBL (+1.38%), MCB (+0.72%) and HUBC (+1.03%), cumulatively contributing 119 points to the index. On the flipside, major laggards were NML (-2.31%), NRL (-5%) and ATRL (-3.16%). Steel sector continued to perform well as MUGHAL (+5%), ASTL (+3.29%), INIL (+1.09%) and CSAP (+0.79%) closed higher than their previous day’s close.

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Mixed sentiments were witnessed in the banking sector, where HBL (+1.38%), UBL (+0.07%) and MCB (+0.72%) closed higher, whereas NBP (-0.44%), BAHL (-0.51%) and BAFL (-0.53%) closed lower.

On the news front, the prime minister announced a one-time amnesty scheme on offshore assets.

“Moving forward, we expect the market to remain under pressure on the back of political uncertainty,” Mulla added.

Overall, trading volume increased to 268 million shares, compared with Wednesday tally of 151 million.

Shares of 383 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 222 stocks closed higher, 152 declined while nine remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.7 billion.

TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 17.6 million shares, losing Rs0.30 to close at Rs31.93. It was followed by Lotte Chemical with 15.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.48 to close at Rs8.62 and Azgard Nine with 13.2 million shares, losing Rs0.08 to close at Rs14.92.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs521 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Benchmark index rises 1.91% to close at 43,630.74

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