KARACHI: The stock market remained in search of direction for the second day in the absence of positive triggers. Short-term investors booked profit, reducing their intraday positions.
The KSE-100 index closed on a flattish note, giving away all the 11.63 points (0.03 per cent) secured the previous day and settle at 43,207.04.
Traders said that after a major run-up since August last year, the index was consolidating at the current levels before moving forward. Early trade witnessed much of the volatility and the index touched the intraday high and low by 250 and 123 points.
Investors remained disinterested in much of the latter day trading when speculators were busy churning mainly low-priced stocks. Cyclicals bore the major selling pressure as most cement stocks fell due mainly to the higher coal prices. Steel shares also followed suit and lost values.
Foreigners continued to build portfolio with net purchases of shares worth $1.25 million. The volume declined 32pc to 250m shares, from 366m while traded value also decreased 28pc to Rs7.8 billion, from Rs10.8bn.
Banking stocks remained in the limelight with trading volumes of 45m shares. Second-tier scrips came in for much of trading and contributed significantly to the volume. These included Bank of Punjab, TRG Pakistan, TPL, Byco and K-Electric, which formed 31pc of aggregate turnover.
Sectors contributing to the performance included fertiliser, higher by 48 points, banks 21 points while exploration and production declined 53 points, chemical 21 points and cement 20 points.
Among heavyweight stocks, major movers were Engro Corporation, increasing by 1.8pc, Habib Bank 0.2pc and United Bank 1.7pc. In cement, DG Khan was down 1.6pc, Lucky 0.4pc and Maple Leaf 1.1pc.
On the E&P sector, Oil and Gas Development Company lowered 1.1pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1.2pc and Pakistan Oilfields 0.5pc lost value to close in the red zone. Engro Polymer & Chemical received heavy beating after the company announced issuance of preference shares amounting to Rs3bn.
Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2020