Stocks manage modest gains on late buying

Updated July 18, 2019

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The index opened on a positive note and remained volatile throughout the session. — AFP/File
The index opened on a positive note and remained volatile throughout the session. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The stock market was on a rollercoaster ride for the second day amid investors’ hopes and despair over the monetary tightening. The KSE-100 index settled a step higher by 9.97 points (0.03 per cent) at 32,981.99.

The index opened on a positive note and remained volatile throughout the session as investors continued to consider the impact of State Bank rate rise by 100 basis points announced a day earlier.

The hike was in line with consensus forecast and the investors were also encouraged as many deciphered signals by SBP of an end of monetary tightening. The index therefore opened in the positive and shot up to intraday high by 409 points.

At midday, bulls were however chased away as investors decided to sell the rally with the index hitting intraday low by 137 points. Some buying by value-hunters towards the end of trading helped it bounce back and close flat. Foreign investors bought stocks worth $0.46 million, while selling by mutual funds slowed down to $1.41m on Wednesday.

The volume declined 20pc to 111.5m shares, from 138.7m while traded value also stood down by 18pc to $23.2m as against $28.3m a day earlier. Stocks that contributed significantly included Maple Leaf, TRG Pakistan, Lotte Chemical, DG Khan Cement and Unity Foods, which formed 40pc of the turnover.

Sector-wise, exploration and production, oil and gas marketing companies, cement, chemical, fertiliser and banking performed well in early trade but save for O&GMCs and chemical, all went bust by session’s end, stated Arif Habib Ltd. Lotte Chemical, Sui Southern Gas, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines, Engro Polymer and Chemical traded near upper circuits.

Intermarket Securities stated that the mixed performance was attributable to gains in Nestle Pakistan, up 4.41pc, Hub Power 1.36pc, Habib Bank 0.99pc and Dawood Hercules 2.08pc which was largely offset by losses in Oil and Gas Development Company, down 0.80pc, Indus Motor 4.22pc, Fauji Fertiliser 0.97pc and Pakistan Petroleum 0.62pc.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2019