Stocks closed flat for another session on Thursday, as investors remained cautious during the appointment decision for the new chief of army staff, traders said.
Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-shares index inched up 0.05 percent or 23.34 points to close at 42,903.65 points against 42,880.31 points recorded in the last session. Intraday high was 43,016.64 points while the lowest level of the day was recorded at 42,861.64 points.
Analyst Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corp said the stocks closed higher after the prime minister’s decision on the appointment of the new army chief eased political noise.
Reports of falling dollar bonds credit default swap index on easing political uncertainty played a catalytic role in the positive close, he added.
However, late session pressure remained due to the uncertainty about the outcome of Pakistan-IMF talks and the presidential consultative meetings ahead of the approval of the new appointment of the chief of army staff.
KSE-30 index decreased by 4.64 points or 0.03 percent to stand at 15,805.11 points compared with 15,809.75 points recorded in the last session.
Traded shares increased by 15 million to 153.126 million shares from 138.573 million shares. Value rose to Rs5.861 billion from Rs5.140 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs6.851 trillion from Rs6.831 trillion. Out of 345 companies active in the session, 184 closed in green, 128 in red, while 33 remained unchanged.
Analyst Ali Najib at Topline Securities said equities had a range-bound day on Thursday. Hub Power Company (Hubco) has decided to go to court against the encashment notice that the company received on Wednesday. The company’s shares closed the day at Rs66.96 (up Rs0.51; +0.34 percent) after the aforesaid development.
During the day, Engro, Pakistan Tobacco, Pakistan Petroleum and Dawood Hercules added 71 points, cumulatively. On the flip side, Systems Limited, HBL and Pakistan State Oil witnessed some profit taking as they lost 60 points collectively.
Highest gains were made by Allawasaya Tex, up Rs209.61 to stand at Rs3,004.48/share, followed by Pak Tobacco, up Rs52 to close at Rs922/share. Major losers of the day were Sapphire Fiber, down Rs67.01 to close at Rs1,150/share, followed by Siemens Pak, down Rs65.36 to end at Rs817.05/share.
Arif Habib Ltd in its post-session note said the market opened in the green zone but due to the ongoing political uncertainty, investors chose to book profits at higher levels. Given that the president’s final approval for the COAS appointment remained pending, investor confidence remained lackluster. This resulted in lower market participation. Volumes on the mainboard remained sluggish, with third-tier stocks continuing to lead in terms of volume.
Sectors contributing to the performance included fertilisers (+19.6 points), tobacco (+17.3 points), cement (+14.7 points), inv banks/inv cos/securities cos (+11.8 percent) and power generation and distribution (+9.8 points).
WorldCall Telecom remained the volume leader with 25.621 million shares. Its scrip increased 7 paisa to Rs1.45/share. It was followed by Hascol Petrol with 9.135 million shares that closed up 12 paisa to Rs7.96/share.
Other stocks that recorded significant turnover included TRG Pak, JS Bank, Dewan Motors, PTCL, Avanceon, Unity Foods, Ghani Glo Hol and TPL Properties.
Shares’ turnover in the future contracts increased to 170.776 million shares from 152.048 million shares.
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