Stocks hold breath as economy walks a tightrope

December 09, 2021

Stocks once again made no headlines by ending mostly unchanged on Wednesday as the crippled economy continues to walk a tightrope, confining investors to the safety of sidelines, traders...

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Stocks once again made no headlines by ending mostly unchanged on Wednesday as the crippled economy continues to walk a tightrope, confining investors to the safety of sidelines, traders said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 Shares Index closed flat with a decrease of 6.2 points or 0.02 percent to 43,846.87 points, with 44,138.97 and 43,652.29 being the highest and the lowest levels during the day-trading, respectively.

Ahsan Mehanti, an analyst at Arif Habib Corp, said, stocks closed under pressure on rupee instability, weak global crude oil prices, and surging government bond yields.

Foreign outflows, hike in industrial power tariff, uncertainty over the resumption of IMF (International Monetary Fund) programme had a negative bearing on the trade, Mehanti added.

KSE-30 Shares Index, however, rose by 43.74 points or 0.26 percent to 17,049.47 points against 17,005.73 points.

Traded shares increased 4 million to 233.17 million from 229.37 million, while traded value decreased to Rs7.00 billion from Rs8.37 billion. Market capital slightly dropped to Rs7.504 trillion from Rs7.516 trillion. Out of 350 names active in the session, 134 posted gains, 196 losses, while 20 remained unchanged.

JS Research in its market wrap said the bourse witnessed dull activity, while healthy participation came from technology stocks, mainly TRG (+7.5 percent), TELE (+5.9 percent), NETSOL (+3.3 percent), and AVN (+2.4 percent).

“Going forward, we expect the index to remain range-bound due to the expected interest rate hike in the upcoming monetary policy announcement,” the brokerage said recommending investors to avail any downside as an opportunity for buying in the banking and oil and gas exploration and production sectors.

Mari Petroleum posted best gains by grabbing Rs47.15 to rise to Rs1,671.68/share, followed by Blessed Textiles that secured Rs30.74 to close at Rs450/share.

It was a bad day for Nestle Pakistan that fell Rs140 to Rs5,250share, highest loss booked by a stock on Wednesday, followed by Sapphire Textile that took a hit of Rs74.90 to settle down at Rs925/share.

Arif Habib Limited in a report said the market remained range-bound with low volumes and lackluster activity across the board.

The index did go up 285 points during the day but failed to sustain the positive momentum, the brokerage said.

Activity was witnessed majorly in energy stocks, on expectations of resolution of gas circular debt, the report said adding that technology stocks witnessed a sharp recovery with good volumes.

Sectors contributing to the negative performance included cement (-83 points), fertiliser (-32 points), pharmaceuticals (-14 points), engineering (-13 points), and refineries (-10 points).

Topline Securities in a post-market note said major contributor was TRG, which closed at its respective upper circuit.

Investors interest was also seen in financials and energy sector, said the Topline analysts and added that cements were the major laggards as LUCK, PIOC, CHCC, MLCF, DGKC ended lower.

Hascol Petrol was volume leader with 57.47 million shares, followed by Telecard Limited with 21.82 million shares.

Stocks that recorded significant turnover included Treet Corp, Unity Foods Ltd, Byco Petroleum, TPL Properties, WorldCall Telecom, Ghani Global Holdings, TRG Pakistan Ltd, and Hum Network.

Turnover in the future contracts decreased to 71.12 million shares from 95.25 million shares on Tuesday.

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