Stocks end flat as investors remain on sidelines

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023

Stocks closed flat on Monday following a range-bound session, where investors remained cautious ahead of the central bank’s key policy rate, which went up 100bps, in line with market expectations, traders said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index inched up 0.9 percent or by 35.61 points to close at 38,443.59 points against 38,407.98 points recorded in the last session. Intraday high was 38,553.01 points, while intraday low was 38,135.53 points.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said, “Stocks closed higher led by banking and oil stocks as investors speculated on a possible hike in SBP key policy rate and early resolution to Rs1.6 trillion gas circular debt crises.”

The government's decision to reform the IMF deal and surging global crude oil prices played a catalytic role in the positive close. However, midsession pressure continued on account of rupee instability and countrywide power outage, he added.

KSE-30 index increased by 43.63 points or 0.31 percent to stand at 14,266.41 points compared with 14,222.78 points recorded in the last session.

Volumes decreased by 12 million shares to 81.287 million shares from 93.450 million shares, whereas the value dropped to Rs2.809 billion from Rs3.508 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs6.135 trillion from Rs6.134 trillion. Out of 315 companies active in the session, 130 closed in green, 159 in red and 26 remained unchanged.

During the day, Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, TRG, Hubco and Lucky Cement added 130 points, cumulatively. On the flip side, UBL, Fauji Fertilizer and Dawood Hercules saw some profit-taking as they lost 61 points collectively.

The highest increase was recorded in the shares of Bhanero Tex, up Rs22.99 to close at Rs1,199.99/share, followed by Thal Ind Corp, up Rs21 to close at Rs312/share. A significant decline was noted in the shares of Bata (Pak), down Rs128.99 to end at Rs1,596.01/share, followed by Nestle Pakistan, down Rs119.99 to end at Rs5,190.01/share.

Arif Habib Ltd said a range-bound session was recorded at the PSX to start off the business week. “The market opened in the green zone, but the lack of investors’ participation drove the index down into the red zone; however, the market swung in both directions for most of the trading session and managed to close in the green,” it reported. “Investors opted to remain on the side-lines because of the monetary policy rate announcement.”

Volumes dried up in the mainboard, while third-tier companies continued to lead in terms of volumes.

Sectors contributing to the performance included E&P’s (+84.6 points), cement (+40.2 points), technology and communication (+30.9 points), power generation and distribution (+20.9 points), and sugar and allied industries (+4.1 points).

Al Shaheer (R) remained the volume leader with 9.929 million shares with a decline of 10 paisas to 7 paisas per share. It was followed by TRG Pak Ltd with 7.837 million shares that closed higher by Rs2.57 to Rs100.67/share.

Other stocks that recorded significant turnover included WorldCall Telecom, Ghani Chem (B), PRL, OGDC, Cnergyico PK, Lotte Chemical, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and TPL Properties. Shares’ turnover in the future contracts increased to 111.352 million shares from 38.277 million shares previously.