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September 24, 2020

Stocks snap losing string to end barely changed


September 24, 2020

Stocks on Wednesday broke a bad streak to end flat in tight trade as big players preferred to err on the side of caution in view of political tensions and lack of triggers, with energy and autos taking a beating, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.11 percent or 47.35 points to close at 41,876.26 points, while volumes increased to 582.794 million shares, compared with 441.286 million recorded in the previous session.

Muhammad Saeed Khalid, head of research at Shajar Capital, said, “The index revived during the day as the balance of payment numbers took some stress off the market”.

"We have noticed a notable recovery in the volumetric activity as the government has taken initiative to support pharmaceutical and textile sectors,” he said.

Further, foreigners remained net sellers after increased tensions on the political and LoC (Line of Control) fronts as India and Pakistan are at loggerheads over the ceasefire revocations, Khalid added.

KSE-30 shares index lost 0.13 percent or 22.51 points to end at 17,674.11 points level.

Umair Naseer from BMA Capital sales desk said, “The interest was seen in textile sector as InterLoop and Nishat Mills were up 2-7.5 percent on news flows about a likely reduction in duty on inputs for textile and divergence of textile export orders to Pakistan from Bangladesh and India”.

"We eye any potential correction in market as an opportunity to build positions for future gains with banking as our preferred sector,” Naseer added.

Trading activity was recorded in 420 active scrips, of which 183 ended higher, 218 lower, and 19 finished unchanged.

Arif Rehman, director research at Fortune Securities, said, “The PSX had a range-bound session, where the index oscillated between 41755 and 42023 points, as the rollover week has entered into its third day”.

With sales data expected to be released over the next few days, cement stocks remained firm throughout the day on expected robust demand in September, Rehman added.

"Steels were under pressure, whiles textiles were in demand with all stocks remaining firm as textile exports during 1QFY21 remained strong despite weaker global economy owing to COVID-19 impact.”

The market was expected to move in a narrow band over the next few days; however “we believe underlying strength of the economy with second consecutive current account surplus reported by SBP will continue to keep investor interest alive in equities,” Rehman added.

Salman Ahmed, head of institutional sales at Aba Ali Habib Securities, said, “The market moved in a narrow band owing to lack of any triggers”.

Institutions and individuals were absent, which could easily be gauged from the falling volumes, Ahmed added.

Colgate Palmolive, rising Rs109.93 to close at Rs3,010/share, and Indus Dyeing, gaining Rs40.70 to finish at Rs583.58/share, emerged as the top gainers of the day, while Rafhan Maize, down Rs290 to close at Rs8,400/share, and Island Textile, losing Rs40.78 to close at Rs1000.00/share, ended up as the major losers.

Silk Bank Limited posted the highest volumes with 167.490 million shares, up Rs0.06 to end at Rs1.06/share, whereas Maple Leaf recorded the lowest with 12.738 million traded shares, gaining Rs0.1 to end at Rs39.68/share.