KARACHI: Momentum from Monday’s stellar gains helped the market take off to a strong start with the KSE-100 index making intraday high of 333 points. But the euphoria did not last long as mixed news of a thaw in the political situation was followed by strong statements coming from both sides, which gave way to investors’ fears who rushed to take profit at current levels.

The 100-index closed with gains of 81 points (0.2 per cent) at 35,277on Tuesday. The market capitalisation based on KSE-30 closed slightly negative, evidencing that much of the KSE-100 upsurge was contributed by small-cap stocks.

A trader said that the participants were also disinclined to take long positions as 37,000-level resistance was in sight. Heavyweight big banks and exploration and production (E&P) sectors largely resisted the increase in index, while the principal stock, Lucky Cement also remained out of the shares rally.

Foreigners, banks and insurance companies were the net sellers but mutual funds and individuals helped carry market forward. The volume increased 48pc over the previous day and hit the recent high at 308 million shares but traded value was up by just 2pc to Rs8.68 billion, which was another indication of low participation by blue-chip scrips.

Stocks that contributed significantly included Worldcall, Maple Leaf Cement, Lotte Chemical, TRG Pakistan and Engro Polymer and Chemicals, which formed 42pc of day’s turnover.

The current investor favourites — cement shares — were generally up with DG Khan, Maple Leaf and Cherat closing in the positive. In E&Ps, Pakistan Petroleum and Pakistan Oilfields declined. Fertiliser sector showed mixed trend whereas automobiles contributed positively to the index.

Scrip-wise major contribution to market upside came from Engro Corporation, up 1.49pc, MCB 1.91pc, Sui Northern Gas 4.87pc, Indus Motor 5pc and Colgate-Palmolive 3.64pc. On the flip side, equally big cap stocks Hub Power, down 2.60pc, United Bank 1.21pc, Lucky Cement 1.39pc, Fauji Fertiliser 0.85pc and Habib Bank 0.55pc dragged the index down.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2019