KARACHI: Market witnessed range-bound trading with the KSE-100 index recording gains of 170 points (0.40 per cent) to close at 42,504.76. The benchmark opened in the positive but oscillated between the intraday high and low by 220 and 100 points.

Investors looked forward to the announcement of SBP Monetary Policy on Monday (21st). On the news front, the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes granted a stay on the enforcement of the massive penalty of $6 billion imposed on Pakistan for its decision to deny a mining lease for the Reko Diq project to Australia’s Tethyan Copper Company.

Analysts said an unfavourable decision would have impacted the economy giving it a negative outlook. Following the increase in international oil prices, all four heavyweight stocks on the exploration and production sector — Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Oilfields, Mari Petroleum and Pakistan Petroleum — turned green providing major support to the index. Cement and steel scrips remained under pressure all through the session but most managed to hold on to the prices.

Foreign investors stood mainly on the sidelines. Among local participants, banks and individuals resorted to profit-taking on the last day before weekend while insurance companies and corporates picked up shares at dips.

The volume edged higher by 1pc to 516.1 million shares while traded value suffered sharp drop of 10pc to reach $81.9m indicating that it was the day of punters and day traders who remained engaged in buying and selling penny stocks. Scrips that contributed significantly included Pakistan Intern­ational Bulk Terminal, Unity Foods, Fauji Foods, Kot Addu Power and K-Electric, which formed 45pc of total turnover.

Scrips that helped the index close higher included Pakistan State Oil, Engro Corporation and United Bank. Others that added to price gains were OGDC, Fauji Fertiliser, Meezan Bank, Unity and Pakistan Oilfields.

Conversely, Dawood Hercules, Kot Addu, Pakistan Tobacco, Engro Polymer and Chemical and Lucky Cement lost value to weigh down on the benchmark.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2020