KARACHI: The stock market traded range-bound on Monday with the KSE-100 index ending near the flat line with a slight tilt of 0.64 points in the green.

The index closed at 42,531.31, which analysts said was at the pre-Covid level, guiding investors to move with caution. Trades were therefore generally choppy with the benchmark moving between the intraday high and low by 190 and 163 points.

Several upcoming events dissuaded investors from taking fresh positions. They included the upcoming Asia-Pacific Group (APG) meeting which is to be held on the 15th and 16th to ponder over the measures taken by Pakistan against money laundering and forwarded to Financial Action Task Force.

The SBP Monetary Policy statement due at the end of the week kept investors shuffling positions in banking scrips. Selling pressure was observed across the board with investors cherry-picking where they saw value.

Sectors that were hammered included exploration and production, steel, and refinery. However, banks and oil marketing companies saw gradual accumulation causing the index to post gains during the trading session. In cement, selling pressure was witnessed in DG Khan and Power while Maple Leaf, Pioneer and Kohat gained to close higher than their previous day close.

Foreign investors stood on the sidelines. Banks, mutual funds and individuals sold shares which were bought by insurance companies and brokers. The volume remained relatively low against the previous week’s daily average and stood down 3pc over last Friday to 500.5 million shares.

Traded value also declined 17pc to reach $87.5m. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volume included Hascol, Pakistan Intern­ational Bulk Terminal , Fauji Foods, Unity Foods and Bank of Punjab, which formed 36pc of total turnover.

Major gaining scrips for the day were Hub Power, edging up 0.9pc, Pakistan State Oil 1.7pc, Habib Bank 0.7pc and Hascol 4.1pc while on the flip side, Engro Corporation, declining 0.1pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1.5pc, DG Khan Cement 2.8pc and Systems Ltd 1.7 were the key losers

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2020