Market watch: Volatile trading ends with meagre gain of 8 points

KARACHI: A rather volatile session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Monday ended on a marginally positive note.

The benchmark KSE-100 index kicked off trading on a bullish note, rising over 300 points but it failed to sustain the momentum. Selling pressure took over in the latter half and dragged the index lower, wiping out the day’s gains.

Sentiment remained mixed as investors were concerned over the country’s economic situation.

“Trading activity improved significantly as Prime Minister Imran Khan effectively internationalise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly,” said a brokerage house report.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of just 8.04 points, or 0.03%, to settle at 32,078.85 points.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the bourse remained volatile as the KSE-100 index traded between an intra-day high of 324 points and intra-day low of 141 points. “Most of the selling pressure was witnessed in the second half of the day.”

Top volume leader of the day was K-Electric as the power utility’s 55 million shares were traded on the back of material information released by the company, stating that they had received a fresh public announcement of intention from Shanghai Electric Power to acquire up to 66.4% voting shares in K-Electric.

Mixed sentiment was witnessed in the cement sector where DG Khan Cement (+1.7%) remained in the green whereas Maple Leaf Cement (-0.3%), Kohat Cement (-1.8%), Pioneer Cement (-2%) and Lucky Cement (-1.6%) closed in the red.

In the exploration and production sector, heavy trading volumes were recorded in Pakistan Oilfields (+1.3%), Pakistan Petroleum (+1.8%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.2%), which also closed positive.

“Moving forward, we expect the market to play above 32,000 points, where we recommend investors to buy on dips,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes increased to 166 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 135.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.24 billion.

Shares of 363 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 181 stocks closed higher, 156 declined and 26 remained unchanged.

K-Electric was the volume leader with 55.6 million shares, losing Rs0.08 to close at Rs3.55. It was followed by The Bank of Punjab with 10.8 million shares, losing Rs0.03 to close at Rs8.72 and WorldCall Telecom with 9.1 million shares, losing Rs0.01 to close at Rs1.15.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs280.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Benchmark index increases 2.03% to settle at 32,070.81 points

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