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Wednesday February 21, 2024

Stocks end flat as profit-taking erases early gains

By Our Correspondent
December 01, 2023

Stocks closed marginally higher on Thursday after a volatile session that saw the index swing between gains and losses as investors booked profits at higher levels.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's benchmark KSE-100 index gained 0.05 percent or 29.28 points to close at 60,531 points, after hitting an intraday high of 60,982 points and a low of 60,428 points. The index traded in a range of 554 points, showing a recovery from the previous session.

Brokers are busy in trading at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi on Wednesday, December 21, 2022. —PPI
Brokers are busy in trading at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi on Wednesday, December 21, 2022. —PPI

Of the 100 index companies, 35 closed up, 46 closed down, while 19 remained untraded. The total volume of the KSE-100 index was 233 million shares, compared with 250 million shares in the previous session.

"Stocks showed recovery amid reports of $3 billion Saudi deposit rollover, fall in treasury bond yields and Islamabad High Court grants stay order on over Rs35 billion windfall tax recovery government decision on banks," said analyst Ahsan Mehantiat Arif Habib Corp.

He said that reports of surging exports, improving key economic indicators and easing geopolitical uncertainty played a catalytic role in positive close at the PSX.

The market started the day with a bullish momentum, pushing the index close to the 61,000 mark. However, it faced strong resistance at the level, which triggered a sell-off that dragged the index down by around 600 points.

Arif Habib Limited said in its report that it was a very strong month of foreign flows with net buying of over $30 million, numbers last seen in 2019.

The brokerage said a whopping 16.5 percent month-on-month gain pushed the benchmark index to new all time highs.

"The seasonality remains favorable for higher prices into the end of January to target 65,000 points level."

Globally, Pakistan ranks as the fifth strongest market with a dollar return of +15.4 percent and Argentina +33 percent, Israel +18 percent, South Korea +16 percent, and Spain +15.5 percent, ranked higher.

The automobile assembler sector led the gains with 120 points, followed by cement with 111 points and power generation and distribution with 79 points.

Millat Tractors, Lucky Cement, Hub Power Company, Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim and Systems Limited were the top positive contributors to the index.

The commercial banks sector dragged the index down with 187 points, followed by oil and gas exploration companies with 31 points and oil and gas marketing companies with 22 points.

Muslim Commercial Bank, Engro Corporation, United Bank Limited, The Resource Group and Mari Petroleum were the top negative contributors to the index.