Market watch: KSE-100 sheds 65 points in range bound trading

KARACHI: The Pakistan stock market on Friday endured a range bound session and inched down 65 points due to absence of any major triggers that could provide direction to the bourse.

Investors resorted to profit-booking because of which most of the stocks in automobile and financial sectors lost ground.

After a brief open in the positive, the benchmark KSE-100 index oscillated between positive and negative territories and the first session ended with a loss of over 200 points. Volatility continued in the second session as well, which saw the index recover partially but weak investor sentiment prevented it from ending the day with gains.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 65.30 points, or 0.21%, to settle at 31,481.31 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market traded in a narrow range oscillating between +83 points and -267 points with total volume of 103 million shares. “Mixed trend was witnessed in exploration and production stocks that pushed the index into the red zone,” it said.

Cement and steel sectors made positive moves with Amreli Steels and Mughal Steel hitting their respective upper circuits. Stocks that mainly contributed to the selling pressure were Hubco, HBL and Maple Leaf Cement.

The cement sector led the volumes table with trading in 18.7 million shares, followed by the exploration and production sector (9 million) and engineering sector (8.2 million).

Among individual stocks, Maple Leaf Cement ranked top with trading in 7.5 million shares, followed by Unity Foods (7.1 million) and Oil and Gas Development Company (6.8 million), the report added.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said bulls lost control of the market as profit-booking emerged with the index touching an intra-day low of -267 points. It, however, closed the day at 31,481 points (-0.2%).

“Trading volume stood at 103 million shares, down 45% from the previous day,” he said. Maple Leaf Cement (-1.3%) led the volumes with trading in 7.5 million shares.

On the news front, the State Bank of Pakistan is expected to announce monetary policy on Monday (September 16) where we expect the policy rate to remain unchanged.

Mixed sentiment was recorded in the cement sector where Lucky Cement (+4.7%) and Kohat Cement (+0.2%) went up. On the flip side, Maple Leaf Cement (-1.3%), Pioneer Cement (-1.9%) and Cherat Cement (-0.8%) remained in the negative zone.

Moreover, once again heavy volumes were witnessed in the exploration and production sector where Pakistan Petroleum (+1%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.4%) closed higher compared to the previous day’s close.

“Moving ahead, we recommend the investors to adopt sell-on-strength strategy,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 103.1 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 185.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.7 billion.

Shares of 340 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 159 stocks closed higher, 153 declined and 28 remained unchanged.

Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 7.5 million shares, losing Rs0.22 to close at Rs16.65. It was followed by Unity Foods with 7.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs8.88 and Oil and Gas Development Company with 6.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.47 to close at Rs119.91.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs169.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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