KARACHI: Stocks fell flat on the last trading day of the shortened four-day week (Feb 5 being Kashmir Solidarity Day). The KSE-100 index closed in red by 27.84 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 46,905 points on Thursday.
The index again tested the three-year-high 47,000 level, but strong resistance put up by the bears did not allow it to hold on and the benchmark again beat a hasty retreat. The session saw a fair degree of volatility with the index taking a strong start and climbing all the way to intraday high by 406 points to 47,342. Unnerved at the dizzy height and with prolonged holidays ahead, individuals, brokers, insurance and companies resorted to profit-taking on all sectors, which pulled down the index causing heavy losses in some major stocks.
Foreign investors bought stocks worth $1.94m, mutual funds allocated $2.17 to equities and banks and companies also were also net buyers. Analyst Danish Ladhani at JS Global observed that Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim closed positive with a volume of 9.6m shares on reports that the ECC had allowed continuation of gas supply to the company for another five years.
Moreover, Mari Petroleum hit its upper circuit as the ECC was reported to have approved the removal of cap on distribution of dividends. As a result, OGDC which holds a 20pc stake in it also closed in green. Pressure was seen in the pharmaceutical sector where AGP Ltd closed at the lower limit and Searle also came under selling pressure.
Stocks that were major contributors to the index surge included Mari Petroleum, OGDC, Lucky Cement, PPL and Systems Ltd as they cumulatively added 191 points to the index.
On the flip side, TRG, AGP, PAKT, DGKC and BAFL lost value to weigh down on the index by 111 points. The traded volume stood at 440m shares lower than earlier day’s 616m shares. The traded value for the day stood at Rs.26.4bn, also down from Rs29.5bn on Wednesday. Pakistan Refinery led the volume leaders.
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2021