Stocks manage modest gains in choppy trade

Published February 20, 2021
Stocks resumed their upward march on Friday with the KSE-100 index eking out net gains of 84.91 points, or 0.18 per cent, to close at 46,227.65. — AFP/File
Stocks resumed their upward march on Friday with the KSE-100 index eking out net gains of 84.91 points, or 0.18 per cent, to close at 46,227.65. — AFP/File

KARACHI: After a correction in the past two sessions, stocks resumed their upward march on Friday with the KSE-100 index eking out net gains of 84.91 points, or 0.18 per cent, to close at 46,227.65.

Trading remained choppy for the entire day where index opened gap up and surged to intraday high by 235 points.

Investors in early trade accumulated stocks on most sectors including cement, pharmaceutical, technology, autos and chemicals. The first half closed in mild green, while profit-booking was the order of the day in the second half which eroded all of the gains and pushing the index to intraday lows.

Selling pressure was observed in banks, cement and steel sector, whereas technology sector maintained an uptrend, with TRG hitting upper circuit upon announcement of its board meeting. Similar performance was witnessed in Netsol which also closed with good gains.

A mixed bag of corporate results unveiled earnings and payouts from D.G. Khan Cement, Fauji Cement, Mughal Steel and Bank of Punjab.

Stocks that helped lift the index included TRG (98 points), MTL (47 points), System Ltd (14 points), and Byco (11 points). Stocks that contributed negatively included HBL (19 points), Fauji Cement (14 points), Lucky Cement (12 points), Kot Addu (12 points) and Pakistan Oilfield (11 points).

HBL, Meezan Bank and MCB Bank rose higher after the Bank of Punjab annou­nced its financial results and the declaration of a surprise cash dividend at Re1 per share.

Buying was led by companies in the sum of $2.96m and followed by brokers taking fresh positions in stocks worth $1.19m. Individuals and foreign investors booked profit ahead of the week-end.

The trading volume rose 20pc over the previous day to 694.5mn shares, while the value was up by 7pc to Rs24.9bn. Byco, WorldCall, Hum Network, BoP and TRG formed 45pc of total turnover.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2021

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