KARACHI: The galloping market broke into a trot as the stocks showed volatility for the second day with the KSE-100 index adding another 104.30 points (0.28 per cent) and close at 37,804.61.

The benchmark remained in a band of intraday high and low by 286 and 148 points. Profit-taking followed by buying on dips was the trend on Wednesday.

It received support from the improvement in economic numbers which follows the resumption of economic activities on gradual removal of lockdown as the Covid-19 cases continue to decline.

On the news front, the government raised Rs199.4 billion against a target of Rs140bn through the auction of fixed-rate Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) on Tuesday. Traders said the news of Abdul Hafeez Shaikh’s removal from National Finance Commission created slight commotion in mid-session.

The volume declined 11pc from 457.2m shares to 405.5m while traded value also declined by 9pc to reach $106.2m, as against $116.5m. During the session, fertiliser and banks saw profit-booking, but the index was lifted by heavyweights.

Analysts said that MCB, Habib Bank and cement stocks, mainly Lucky, saved the day.

The ECC’s approval of funds for construction sector gave cement the reason to trade. International crude prices increased over the day, which helped exploration and production shares staged recovery. The sector topped the volume charts with 59.8m shares, followed by oil and gas marketing companies and technology.

Sectors contributing to the performance included cement, higher 79 points, autos 40 points, oil and gas marketing companies 26 points, E&P 20 points while power dipped 37 points, fertiliser 25 points and insurance 15 points.

Major movers of the day were Lucky Cement, up 4.6pc, Millat Tractors 7.5pc, MCB 1pc, Pakistan State Oil 2.2pc and Habib Bank 0.8pc. On the flip side, Hub Power, down 2pc, United Bank 2.8pc, Engro Corporation 0.7pc, TRG 2.8pc and Fauji Fertiiliser 0.1pc pulled down the index. Market is thought to remain volatile due to the results season, upcoming futures rollover and monetary policy meeting.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2020