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April 17, 2021

Stocks remain subdued amid thin trade

Business

April 17, 2021

Stocks were barely changed on Friday as investors only made some guarded moves amid security and virus concerns, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) KSE-100 Shares Index closed 0.17 percent or 75.45 points higher to finish at 45,305.63 points.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said stocks closed higher led by oil, fertiliser, and cement sectors in the earnings season rally at PSX as investor weighed surge in global crude oil prices and foreign exchange reserves to $23.2 billion.

He said investors remained concerned over security unrest in the country and IMF conditions regarding hike in taxes and energy tariff, which invited mid-session pressure.

However, the government decision to reduce local petroleum prices helped the index to close on a green note in the earnings season, Mehanti added.

KSE-30 shares index gained 0.15 percent or 28.18 points to close at 18,537.78 points.

As many as 366 scrips were active of which 207 advanced, 139 declined and 20 remained unchanged.

Ready market volumes slumped to 173.52 million shares from 347.66 million in the last trading session.

An analyst at Arif Habib Limited said market inched up further at the brink of earnings season.

“Financial results of key companies are due in the coming week, which kept the interest alive although trading volumes remained thin, the analyst said.

He said cyclicals including cement, steel and autos performed relatively better.

Small caps were favored by investors in comparison with blue chips, the Arif Habib analyst added.

Topline Securities in its daily market review said the market remained positive on the last trading day of the week.

Major contributions to the index came from TRG Pakistan, Habib Bank, Hub Power, Pakistan Suzuki Motor Company, and Thal Group, as they cumulatively contributed 44 points to the index, the brokerage said.

Thin participation was witnessed due to limited trading hours as only 174 million shares were traded with a traded value of Rs8.74 billion.

Danish Ladhani at JS Global Capital said mixed sentiments were seen in the banking sector, which saw United Bank losing 0.2 percent and Habib Bank gaining 0.5 percent.

“We expect the market to remain volatile ahead and recommend investors to book profits on the higher side.”

Any sharp dips could be seen as opportunities to accumulate value stocks in the cement and steel sectors, Ladhani said.

The federal government on Thursday formally banned the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, whose supporters staged three days of violent protests across the country this week after the arrest of their leader.

Analysts fear a likely backlash, which might halt the economic activities in the country, could roll back the gains made so far.

Sapphire Textile, up Rs58.28 to close at Rs933.33/share, and Bhanero Textile, up Rs54.90 to close at Rs949.9/share, posted highest gains in the day.

Pakistan Tobacco, down Rs37.97 to close at Rs1,500/share, and Wyeth Pakistan, down Rs29 to end at Rs970/share, suffered worst losses.

Ghani Global was volume leader with a turnover of 21.51 million shares, followed by Telecard Limited with 21.44 million, and TRG Pakistan that saw its 16.19 million shares change hands on Friday.