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June 25, 2020

Stocks flat on profit-taking in range-bound trade

Business

June 25, 2020

Stocks on Wednesday ended almost unchanged in bounded trade amid profit-taking in index-heavy energy shares that trailed the retreating international crude oil prices, while rollover effect also played out, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index lost 0.05 percent or 17.96 points to close at 34,034.65 points, whereas KSE-30 also inched 0.40 percent or 58.84 points lower to end at 14,718.84 points.

Analysts at Topline Securities in a report said,” Mixed sentiments were witnessed through the day as investors remained sidelined due to lack of positive triggers”.

Exploration and production sector turned out to be the major laggard on international oil price weakness, the brokerage said adding investors interest was witnessed in OMCs (oil marketing companies) where APL and SHEL closed at their respective upper circuits.

As many as 360 active scrips were active on Wednesday, of which 104 gained, 227 ended lower, and 29 remained inert. Volumes ticked up to 195.734 million shares, in comparison with 160.630 million shares traded in the previous session. Tahir Abbas, head of research at Arif Habib Limited, said, “The market remained dull as interest in blue chips and other trading stocks was on lower side”.

Abbas added that the country was currently undergoing smart lockdown, which would weigh on the economy, slowing it down to a snail’s pace, hitting exports and revenue in the coming months. A leading trader said the fertiliser sector landed in the minus zone following the release of consumption data. “Last month urea off-take sharply declined 60 percent to 240,000 tons, down from 593,000 tons in May 2019, as uncertainty on subsidy disbursement mechanism and threat of locust attacks weighed in,” he said.

Fahad Rauf, deputy director research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, said, "Equities remained range bound throughout the session”.

Rauf said investors chose to cover their positions and opted for profit-taking due to rollover week. “Current account for the month of May 2020 turned into surplus of $13 million against a deficit of $1 billion during May 2019,” he added.

Muhammad Jawad Vohra, from BMA Trading Desk, said, “DAWH (Dawood Hercules Corporation) closed at its upper limit due to announcement for investing Rs100 million to form a wholly-owned subsidiary Empiric AI Private Ltd, which will be engaged in technology-led business”.

Salman Ahmad, head of institutional sales at Aba Ali Habib Securities, said, “It was a range-bound trading session with mixed activity, amid a retreating international crude oil and stock markets, which pressured the local market”. The dismal performance was due to rollover week as investors sold their stocks with profit taking witnessed heavy weight companies, Ahmad added.

AVN (Avanceon) also reported the successful commissioning for automation of their key clients in the chemical industry which would have a positive impact on the company’s prospects, Vohra said. "Going forward, factors like flattening of COVID-19 cases curve countrywide, and revival of some real economic activity will drive the investors to hunt cheap valuation, especially in the mainboard stocks,” Vohra said. The top gainers were Nestle Pakistan, up Rs400 to close at Rs6,850/share, and Unilever Foods gaining Rs290 to finish at Rs9,690/share.

Pakistan Tobacco down Rs32.98 to close at Rs1527.01/share, and Murree Brewery Rs21.02 to close at Rs557.88/share, were the main losers.

TRG Pakistan Limited recorded the highest volumes with a turnover of 16.397 million shares and lost Rs0.32 to end at Rs27.51/share. Jahangir Siddique & Co’s turnover was lowest with 5.337 million shares, whereas it shed Rs0.56 to end at Rs11.92/share.