KARACHI: The stock market closed flat on Wednesday with the KSE-100 index settling down by nominal 6 points at 47,413.

It was a day of small-cap stocks where Worldcall Telecom, Telecard Ltd, Ghani Global Holdings, Hum Network Ltd and Treet Corp accounted for 52pc of the day’s trading volume of 537m shares.

The index oscillated between intraday high and low by 209 points and 65 points. Investors remained in search of direction in the financial results reporting season as some big-ticket corporates are yet to unveil their results.

The dismal data on CPI inflation in August hit investor sentiments together with weak economic outlook. On the international front, commodity markets remained mixed before the start of Opec+ meeting at which the members are expected to add 400,000 barrels per day from October onwards. The E&P sector was much less active as investors waited for the outcome of the Opec+ meeting.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti said that the corrective phase was almost over and the market was trading at attractive valuations. Positive news flow could trigger another bull run. However, uncertainty over MSCI decision to come next week over the PSX emerging market status, concerns for foreign outflows and weakened rupee saw market close on slightly negative note.

Among sectors, banks, cement and automobiles were under-performers while engineering and fertilisers kept the index afloat. Tech­nology saw most shares close in the green. But the steel sector was the forerunner which witnessed major gains in International Steels (2.2pc), Amreli Steels (2.7pc), International Indu­stries (1.6pc), Mughal Iron (1.7pc) and Agha Steel (0.8pc).

Among scrips, the high-point positive contributors to the index were TRG (29 points), Lucky Cement (12 points), Faysal Bank (10 points), Engro Poolymer (9 points) and Engro Corp (8 points). Stocks that pulled the index down included HBL (18 points), MCB Bank (15 points), Meezan Bank (14 points), Indus Motor (11 points) and Pakistan Services (9 points).

The trading volume increased by 41pc from a day ago to 537m shares while the value was up by just 2pc to $86.1m, signifying bulk of activity in side-board low-priced items.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2021

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