Stocks close flat in wayward trade

Updated December 13, 2019

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Stocks finished flat on Thursday with the KSE-100 index slightly down by 17.25 points (0.04 per cent) and closing at 40,514.17.   — AFP/File
Stocks finished flat on Thursday with the KSE-100 index slightly down by 17.25 points (0.04 per cent) and closing at 40,514.17. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Stocks finished flat on Thursday with the KSE-100 index slightly down by 17.25 points (0.04 per cent) and closing at 40,514.17.

In a directionless trade, the index opened in the positive territory but could not keep up the upward movement and oscillated between the intraday high and low of 238 and 359 points.

The day started on a strong note as investors were enthused by Wednesday’s bond auction where yields on three-, five- and 10-year Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) came down by five basis points, 26bps and 35bps, respectively. The 10-year yield fell below 11pc.

Normally it should have enhanced the attractiveness of stocks as investment option but without the support of other positive triggers on either the political and economic front, the index remained deep in the red, only managing to crawl up close to the earlier day’s closing in late session recovery.

Among participants, major selling pressure came from foreign investors and ‘brokers’ proprietary account. Profit-booking was seen across the board with sell-off witnessed mainly in cement.

The volume declined 26pc to 227 million shares, from 305.1m with Vanaspati sector leading for a second day, at 37.7m shares changing hands. Traded value plunged 22pc to Rs8.4 billion, from Rs10.8bn. Stocks that contributed significantly included Unity Foods, TRG Pakistan, Fauji Foods, Bank of Punjab and K-Elcctric, which formed 35pc of total turnover.

Sectors contributing to the performance included exploration and production, higher by 53 points, tobacco 32 points and chemical 13 points. On the flip side, oil and gas marketing companies shed 26 points, followed by cement declining 21 points.

Scrip-wise, mixed performance was attributable to profit-taking in Bank Al Habib, down 1.84pc, Sui Northern Gas 2.96pc, Hub Power 0.69pc, TRG Pakistan 3.96pc and Searle Company 2.78pc which were offset by gains in Pakistan Tobacco, increasing by 5pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1.32pc, Dawood Hercules 2.05pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 1.07pc and Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan 4.55pc.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2019