KARACHI: Stock market remained dull on the first day of the trading week with the KSE-100 index crawling up by 88.59 points (0.20 per cent) to close at 43,829.08.

The expectations of a bullish trend after Senate elections did not materialise and the index managed only to make intraday high by 125 points before investors cut down positions. Political uncertainty and lack of triggers were at the heart of a dull market on Monday.

The volume dipped to 137 million shares and the traded value slumped to Rs5.9 billion. As market struggled to find a clear direction all day, Habib Bank and Lucky Cement came to the rescue in late trading to add 65 points, said analysts at Elixir Securities.

Key highlights included Searle Pakistan announcing a joint venture with a Belgium food supplement manufacturer and Tri-Pack Films announcing expansion worth $20m for production of metalised films to cater export and local markets.

According to Topline Securities, investors mainly followed the ‘wait-and-watch’ approach in expectations of any new trigger that could likely be expected on announcement of tax amnesty scheme, appointment of Senate Chairman, and new budgetary measures by the government.

Top five gainers included HBL, up 1.3pc, Lucky Cement 1.3pc, Fauji Cement 3.9pc, Bank Al Habib 1.5pc and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal 4.5pc, cumulatively adding 110 points. On the other hand, MCB Bank, down 0.8pc, United Bank 0.6pc, Pakistan Petroleum 0.6pc, Engro Corporation 0.6pc and Millat Tractors 1.1pc, withheld 56 points from the index. Near the close of trading, some heavy-weight stocks in the lead of HBL recovered from their lows.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2018

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