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September 18, 2020

Index ends flat as investors book profits

Business

September 18, 2020

Stocks ended flat on Thursday as investors resorted to profit-taking and adjustment of their holdings because of high leverage taken by the institutions, fund houses and stock brokers, trimming overall gains at the capital market, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.12 percent or 52.48 points to close at 42,334.76 points level. Volumes increased to 508.691 million shares, as compared with the turnover of 489.600 million shares in the previous session.

Tahir Abbas, director research at Arif Habib said the market has mostly been under the spell of profit-taking. It scored more than 300 points during the session, but before closure it squeezed a bit.

FATF bills were passed by the Parliament on Wednesday, “but run-up in the market would be consolidated once the statement or some words arrive from the Asia-Pacific group meeting”, he said, adding that until than the index would move in a narrow band.

Similar to the KSE-100, the KSE-30 shares index ended 0.18 percent or 33.13 points up to end at 17,943.81 points level.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporations said, “Stocks showed recovery led by selected scrips across the board on likely affirmation on present SBP policy in the two month MPS on September 21.” Higher global equities, surging crude oil prices, upbeat data on remittances for August 2020, rupee stability, government deliberations over privatisation of Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, and parliament clearance of FATF hurdles to overcome grey listing played a catalytic role in the positive close, Mehanti added.

Fahad Rauf, deputy research at Ismail Iqbal Securities said, “The trend was mostly mixed despite passage of FATF-related bill (Anti-Terrorism third Amendment) which supported the sentiment, but fall in international markets despite Fed decision to keep interest rates near zero for three years kept market in check.”

However, he added that the Fed’s decision would ultimately bring global equities in limelight as a preferred asset class.

Trading activity was recorded in 414 active scrips, of which 200 gained, 197 lost, and 17 remained unchanged.

Salman Ahmad, head of institutional sales at Aba Ali Habib said, “The trend was mixed to stable after passing of crucial FATF bill which was narrowly passed, but would sent positive signals to international investors and institutions about efforts of the government to combat money laundering and counter-terror financing.”

Though the market appreciated, he said it succumbed to selling pressure because of the overbought situation and heavy leverage taken by the market players, outstanding has been almost doubled and “we have been witnessing adjustments, daily,” Ahmad added.

The top gainers included Unilever Foods, gaining Rs480.00 to close at Rs1,3980.00/share, and Colgate Palmolive, up Rs25.00 to finish at Rs3,425.00/share, while top losers comprised Nestle Pakistan, down Rs118.99 to close at Rs6,881.01/share, and Hinopak Motor, losing Rs45.17 to close at Rs714.59/share.

With 78.666 million shares PTCL was on top of the volumes chart, up Re0.95 to end at Rs11.71/share, whereas Lalpir Power with 9.829 million traded shares was at the bottom, and it gained Rs1.03 to end at Rs14.87/share.