Market watch: Stocks end in red amid mixed trading

KARACHI: The stock market on Tuesday endured a rather mixed session as it oscillated between red and green zones on the back of prevailing uncertainty.

The KSE-100 index started falling from the moment trading began but some recovery came later as surging global crude oil prices lent support to the index.

In line with market expectations, the central bank kept the key policy rate unchanged – an announcement which the market had largely factored in and therefore did not react much.

Trading activity was mostly seen in oil stocks as higher international crude prices generated investor interest in exploration and production and refinery sectors, though oil marketing companies recorded profit-taking.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 19.63 points, or 0.06%, to settle at 31,908.92 points.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the KSE-100 index moved both ways, touching an intra-day high of 177 points and hitting a low of 159 points. It closed the day at 31,909 points.

“On the news front, in line with expectation, the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 13.25%. Profit-booking was witnessed in the cement sector, where Lucky Cement (-3.4%), Maple Leaf Cement (-0.8%) and Pioneer Cement (-0.9%) lost ground,” said Mulla.

Furthermore, Pakistan Petroleum (+1.3%), Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.3%) and Pakistan Oilfields (+0.7%) from the exploration and production sector closed higher as crude oil prices inched up in the international market.

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

Overall, trading volumes increased to 122 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 104.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.2 billion.

Shares of 363 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 174 stocks closed higher, 170 declined and 19 remained unchanged.

Pak Elektron was the volume leader with 16.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.67 to close at Rs16.81. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 10.3 million shares, losing Rs0.14 to close at Rs16.35 and DG Khan Cement with 7.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.85 to close at Rs47.98.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs253 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Benchmark index increases 447.24 points to settle at 31,928.55

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