Stocks close flat in range-bound session

Updated 14 Jan 2020

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Stocks moved in a narrow range on Monday, with the KSE-100 index finishing off flattish on a minor gain of 11.67 points (0.03 per cent) at 43,218.67. — AFP/File
Stocks moved in a narrow range on Monday, with the KSE-100 index finishing off flattish on a minor gain of 11.67 points (0.03 per cent) at 43,218.67. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Stocks moved in a narrow range on Monday, with the KSE-100 index finishing off flattish on a minor gain of 11.67 points (0.03 per cent) at 43,218.67.

The index opened positive but remained choppy throughout the session, touching the intraday high and low by 246 and 169 points. Among participants, companies and mutual funds took fresh positions while individuals and mainly insurance companies decided to take profit.

After a day of consolidation, foreigners again turned net buyers picking up stocks worth $1.29 million. The volume dropped 8pc to 366m shares, from 400m while the traded value also declined 30pc to Rs10.8bn, from Rs15.5bn as investors in blue chips kept themselves at a distance. Leaders included Bank of Punjab, Summit Bank and Silk Bank which contributed 95m shares to the aggregate turnover.

On the political side, the thaw in relationship between US and Iran was good news. Local scene was also unlikely to disturb the current setup. On the economic front, Fitch affirmed Pakistan at ‘B-’ with stable economic outlook. Remittances were also seen to be on the rise.

Yet investors waited for some cooling as the index had galloped 1,800 points in the last two sessions. The market was also waiting for the January monetary policy meeting to see if economic managers give a thought to easing. On the flip side, higher coal prices pared some of the gains of benchmark.

Major movers of the day were Pakistan Petroleum, higher by 1.8pc, Habib Bank 1.1pc, Bank Alfalah 2.9p while United Bank was down 1.8pc. Oil and Gas Development Company also declined 0.7pc and Pakistan Oilfields 0.2pc slipped as crude prices in the international market edged lower.

Mixed sentiments were witnessed in the cement sector where Lucky decreased 0.8pc, Cherat 0.8pc and Fauji 0.3pc closed in the red while Maple Leaf was up 1.1pc, Pioneer 3.9pc and Dewan 12pc finished in green.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2020