KARACHI: The stock market remained indecisive for the third day as the KSE-100 index closed with minor recovery of 32.44 points (0.08 per cent) at 38,928.93.
Trading remained range-bound with retail investors engaged in bouts of buying and selling in small-cap stocks. As institutions remained on the sidelines, blue-chip scrips barely came up for trading. Resultantly, all 10-top leaders were tagged at price below Rs100 per share.
Brokers said that investors’ confidence remained at the low ebb despite the deposit of second tranche of $1 billion from UAE to help State Bank foreign currency reserves and ease international payment pressure on the country. Investors were peeved by the export figures for Feb coming out flat despite rupee devaluation. Anticipation of an increase in gas price and interest rate hike also concerned traders as those were likely to increase cost of doing business.
The day started on a firm note in extension of the late recovery in the previous session. The index travelled north to touch intraday high by 164 points but met stiff resistance at 39,000-level. The market later retraced the gains and fell to intraday low by 68 points, only to recover slightly in last hour.
The volume increased 4pc to 93 million shares whereas traded value declined by 17pc to $23.5m. Stocks that contributed significantly included Bank of Punjab, K-Electric, Unity Foods, Siddiqsons Tin and Plate and Lotte Chemical, which formed 47pc of total turnover.
Sector-wise, cement, steel, automobiles and exploration and production largely saw selling pressure while banks, power and tobacco saw minor buying. Fertiliser sector remained relatively stable.
Among scrips, major contribution to the index gains came from Hub Power, up 1.23pc, Habib Bank 0.81pc, United Bank 0.98pc, Philip Morris Pakistan 4.98pc and Dawood Hercules 0.86pc. On the flip side, Meezan Bank, down 2.41pc, Pakistan Oilfields 0.58pc and Oil and Gas Development Company 0.47pc were losers for the day.
Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2019