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Stocks end flat on profit-taking; budget in focus

Business

June 4, 2020

Stocks inched down on Wednesday, as caution investors took some cash off the table in the run-up to the federal budget, due on next week, dealers said.

"Market showed lacklustre performance as there was no key developments which could cheer the investors’ mood,” analyst Salman Ahmad at Aba Ali Habib said

“Stable crude prices helped local E&P stocks to show minimal fall and help averting any big declines in the overall market.”

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index shed 0.02 percent or 6.63 points to close at 34,401.42 points level. KSE-30 shares closed 0.01 percent or 1.56 points up to end at 15,073.04 points level.

Of 356 active scrips, 131 up, 202 retreated, and 23 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 129.951 million shares, as compared with the turnover of 221.691 million shares in the previous session.

Dealers said the market opened on a positive note making an intra-day high 250 points after taking cue from increasing trend in global indices and international oil prices.

However, mix sentiment soon prevailed in the market as investors remained cautious given the upcoming budget 2020-21 which is due on June 12, 2020.

Traded volume and value for the day increased by 41 percent and 20 percent on day-to-day basis.

Power generation, E&P and textile stocks were in limelight due to rise in international oil prices along with expectation of demand growth after easing lockdown in the country.

However, fertiliser and cement sector came under pressure as investors prefer to reduce their position as the uncertainty on releasing fertilizer subsidy and expectation of unchanged policy rate hurt sentiments.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporations said stocks closed flat amid thin trade on economic uncertainty.

“Oil and banking stocks outperformed on upbeat oil sales data for May and reports of surging banking spreads,” Mehanti said.

“Slump in cement sales by 38pc year-on-year for May, pre-budget uncertainty and outcome of IMF resumption of second review for the $6 billion extended fund facility were negative news for the market.”

Analyst Fahad Rauf at Ismail Iqbal Securities said equities remained range bound throughout the session as “budget is near and corona cases are on the rise, while investors chose to remain on the sidelines".

Dealers said profit selling witnessed in cement and steel stocks amid concerns owing to continuous rise in COVID-19 cases and fears that the economic activity especially construction sector will take time to revive".

The top gainers were Nestle Pakistan, up Rs46.67 close at Rs6,800.00/share, and Pakistan Tobacco Rs28.11 to finish at Rs1,620.61/share.

Indus Dyeing down Rs47.85 to close at Rs590.15/share, and Rafhan Maize Rs45.67 to close at Rs7,011.00/share, were the main losers.

TRG Pakistan Limited recorded the highest volumes with a turnover of 7.763 million shares. Whereas the scrip gained Rs0.12 end at Rs28.00/share.

The lowest volumes were witnessed in Hum Network recording a turnover of 3.582 million shares, whereas the scrip loss Rs0.33 to end at Rs9.97/share.