KARACHI: The stock market bounced back on Tuesday with the KSE-100 index gaining 70 points, or 0.16 per cent, to close at 45,048.57.

Trading remained directionless in the absence of fresh triggers. The index oscillated between the intraday high and low by 155 and 198 points.

Investors were held back by the fears relating to the increase in Covid-19 cases and the possibility of lockdowns that could slow the wheels of the industry and trade. Further, the political unrest that seemed to rear its head on protest and demonstrations by the Tehreek-e-Labaik party hurt sentiments.

The visit of the SBP governor to the PSX on Monday was seen as the frontline regulator and the banking sector regulator moving in cooperation. The economic indicators were also a bit helpful as the SBP projected GDP growth at 3pc whereby remittances exceeded $2bn for 10th straight month. Moreover, banks deposits recorded 18pc growth in 1QCY21. A major reason that kept the investors on the sidelines was that not many were willing to take fresh positions with the month of Ramazan starting from Wednesday, when investors keep away from the market.

Analysts at Arif Habib Ltd stated that the trading volume declined 6pc year-on-year while the traded value also stood down to $20.8m against $130.7m the previous day.

Stocks that contributed positively to the index include UBL (28 points), HBL (18 points), BAHL (17 points), SNGP (13 points) and FFBL (12 points). Stocks that contributed negatively included TRG (67 points), Engro (28 points), Hubco (19 points), MLCF (4 points) and KOHC (4 points).

Volatility remained in the market amid profit-taking at the bourse. HTL in the OMCs said that the company had decided to enter new business opportunities in the plastic packaging industry by venturing into the production of plastic products for external customers and third parties.

The consolidation in the main board items of oil and gas chain continued.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021

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