Stocks bit the dust in early trade on Thursday, but fought back to end almost unchanged as tough Covid curbs are being mulled, traders said.
Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 Share Index lost 5.70 points or 0.01 percent to close at 47,312.33 points, testing a day high of 47,374.57 points and a low of 46,955.09 points.
Ahsan Mehanti, analyst at Arif Habib Corp, said stocks closed lower on investor concerns over the economic impact of the fresh Covid surge and frail global equities.
Mid Session support came from surging global crude oil prices, strong financial results in the fertiliser sector and robust earnings outlook for auto, oil, and cement sectors, he said. Rupee instability and worries over surging trade deficit muted the trade, Mehanti said.
KSE-30 Shares Index mimicked the benchmark by losing 10.86 points or 0.06 percent to close at 18,963.44 points.
Muhammad Arbash at Topline Securities said equities closed almost unchanged.
The market opened on a negative note to make an intraday low of 362 points as Sindh government is planning to impose a strict lockdown in Karachi as the Covid positivity ratio hit 30 percent, he said.
However, in the second half, the market saw some recovery as federal planning minister Asad Umar in a media briefing said a complete lockdown was not an option to control the rising Covid situation in the city.”
Turnover increased 11 million shares to 376.44 million against 365.77 million shares, while trading value remained flat at Rs12.26 billion. Market capital slipped to Rs8.268 trillion from Rs8.279 trillion. Out of 405 active shares, 145 gained, 243 posted losses, while 17 closed neutral.
Rafhan Maize nailed the highest gains, rising Rs50 to reach Rs10,000 per share, followed by Saphire Fiber that added Rs39.99 to close at Rs899.99 per share.
Gatron Industries suffered the most losses as it lost Rs42.22 to Rs520.78 per share, followed by Blessed Text that shed Rs38.55 to end at Rs475.45 per share.
Brokerage Arif Habib Limited in a note said the market lost another 363 points during the session, however, covered a lot of ground and ended the session with a loss of 6 points.
Banks, exploration and production, cement, power and technology sectors saw selling pressure because of lockdown noise as well as rollover positions, whereby investors preferred selling in ready market and bought futures, the brokerage said.
“Lucky Cement saw abrupt movement. Its price remained depressed the entire session, but moved up in the half hour before closing and saw a major selloff in the closing minute to end at the lowest price of the session,” it reported.
Significant turnover was recorded in stocks of WorldCall Telecom, Byco Petroleum, Unity Foods Ltd, Fauji Fert Bin, Hum Network, Aisha Steel Mill, Hascol Petrol, Silk Bank Ltd, TPL Corp Ltd, and PTCL.
WorldCall Telecom was the highest traded stock posting a turnover of 50.15 million shares. It lost 15 paisas to end at Rs3.42 per share. It was followed by Byco Petroleum with 47.10 million shares. The stock closed higher by 9 paisas to end at Rs9.99 per share.
Turnover in the future contracts increased to 296.46 million shares from 256.37 million shares traded on Wednesday.