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Monday July 22, 2024

Stocks end flat as profit-taking offsets gains

By Our Correspondent
May 08, 2024
A broker talks on a phone as he watches latest share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi on January 27, 2023. — AFP
A broker talks on a phone as he watches latest share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi on January 27, 2023. — AFP

Stocks closed little changed as investors booked profits after a mixed session, traders said.The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index inched down by 3.04 points to close at 72,761.20 points against 72,764.24 points recorded in the last session. The highest index of the day remained at 73,260.09 points while the lowest level was recorded at 72,707.96 points. The KSE-30 index fell by 150.32 points or 0.63 percent to 23,625.13 points.

“Stocks closed flat amid higher trades on pre-budget uncertainty after reports of IMF demanding Rs1.3 trillion additional taxes for the new bailout package,” said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp.

"Political noise, uncertainty over new IMF bailout agreement terms, and rupee instability were catalytic in negative close." Traded shares increased by 43 million shares to 621.826 million shares from 578.388 million shares. The trading value slightly rose to Rs24.970 billion from Rs24.518 billion. Market capital narrowed to Rs9.850 trillion against Rs9.886 trillion. Of 377 companies active in the session, 200 closed in green, 154 in red and 23 remained unchanged.

Ali Najib, an analyst at Topline Securities, said that equities had a mixed day. "Continuing last day’s buoyant momentum, the day commenced on a positive note and the benchmark index made an intraday high at 73,260 levels (+496 points)," Najib said.

"At the aforesaid level, profit taking was seen in market which compelled benchmark index to shed earlier gains and ultimately settled the day on a flat note."

Fertilizer, power, pharma and cable sector contributed positively where DAWH, HUBC, KAPCO, HINOON and PAEL added 286 points. On the flip side, PPL, EFERT and OGDC cumulatively lost 158 points due to some profit-taking witnessed in them.

The highest increase was recorded in Unilever Pakistan Foods Limited shares, which rose by Rs100.45 to Rs19,547.95 per share, followed by Hoechst Pakistan Limited, which increased by Rs92.54 to Rs1,326.41 per share. A significant decline was noted in Hallmark Company Limited, which fell by Rs71.10 to Rs906.62 per share, followed by Mari Petroleum Company Limited, which closed lower by Rs36.22 to Rs2,719.20 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said that the equities market experienced a mixed session, characterized by large caps consolidating while gains remained concentrated in the pharma sector.

Pharma stocks continued their strong performance, fuelled by the recent deregulation of nonessential drugs. AGP (+7.5 percent), GLAXO (+7.5 percent), HINOON (+7.07 percent), and CPHL (+7.5 percent) were among the top gainers in the sector. Notably, CPHL announced a joint venture with Chinese drug makers to produce the remaining portion of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) that they currently do not manufacture.

Cement stocks consolidated alongside energy and power sector names, with expectations of a potential upside later in the week. The energy and power sector remains sensitive to any positive news flow from the Saudi delegation currently visiting the capital.

Pak Elektron remained the volume leader with 64.150 million shares which closed higher by Rs1.77 to Rs26.90 per share. Fauji Foods Ltd followed it with 40.146 million shares, which closed higher by 30 paisas to Rs10.10 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included WorldCall Telecom, Hum Network, K-Electric Ltd., Fauji Cement, Agritech Limited, Pak Refinery, Treet Corp and P.I.A.C. (A).

In Future Market, 330 companies recorded trading, of which 126 increased, 198 decreased and 6 remained unchanged.