KARACHI: Stocks could not maintain the gaining momentum and settled flat on Tuesday with the KSE-100 index showing minor decline of 19.63 points (0.06 per cent) and close at 31,908.92.
Trading remained volatile throughout the session as investors searched for direction. The index moved in the intra-day range of high and low by 178 and 159 points.
On the news front, in line with consensus expectation, the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 13.25pc in the monetary policy announcement in the evening a day earlier.
Banking stocks supported the index from heavier fall and compensated for profit taking in the cement stocks where some major shares including Lucky (LUCK), Maple Leaf (MLCF) and Pioneer finished in the red.
The exploration and production sector again saw rising trend as international crude oil price inched up for the second day following the weekend attack on key Saudi oil facilities. Pakistan Petroleum (PPL), Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and Pakistan Oilfields (POL) closed higher. Refineries also firmed up but the oil marketing companies faced profit booking.
Foreign investors extended their buying spree by securing fresh positions in stocks worth $1.62 million. Banks also bought shares of $1.42m while major selling came from the insurance companies of the value of $2.02m. Mutual funds stayed away for the day.
Volumes increased 16pc to 121.8m shares from 104.6m shares the previous day. Traded value also moved up by 4pc to reach $33.2m from $31.9m. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included Pak Elektron, MLCF, D. G. Khan Cement, K-Electric and TRG Pakistan, which formed 38pc of total volumes.
Scrip wise, most heavyweights that contributed to the upsurge in index points included Habib Bank Ltd up 1.78pc, United Bank Ltd 1.97pc, PPL 1.25pc, POL 0.66pc, Attock Petroleum Ltd 4.26pc and OGDC 0.29pc.
On the flipside, the gains were offset by profit taking in LUCK, down 3.42pc, Fauji Fertiliser Company 1.43pc, Engro Corporation 1.10pc, Hub Power Company 1.15pc, Kot Addu Power Company 3.29pc, Bank Al Habib 2.36pc and MCB Bank 0.97pc.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2019