Stocks edge higher in cautious trade; no clear catalysts

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

Stocks closed slightly higher in a range-bond trade on Wednesday, as investors remained cautious amid the lack of clear market triggers.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained 87.38 points or 0.19 percent to close at 46,365.04 points. The highest index of the day remained at 46,448.34 points while the lowest level was recorded at 46,238.12 points.

Naveed Nadeem, an analyst at Topline Securities, the market exhibited a sideways trading pattern for the third consecutive day, as investors patiently waited for a clear market direction due to the absence of significant catalysts.

The KSE-30 index also increased by 20.69 points or 0.13 percent to close at 16,172.40 points. Traded shares decreased by 82 million shares to 177.497 million shares from 259.046 million shares. The trading value rose to Rs6.928 billion from Rs6.688 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs6.925 trillion against Rs6.899 trillion. Out of 325 companies active in the session, 172 closed in green, 124 in red and 29 remained unchanged.

Major positive contribution to the index came from OGDC, PPL, FFC, PSO and EFERT as they cumulatively contributed 114 points to the index, whereas SYS, HBL & UBL lost value to weigh down on the index by -101 points.

Mubashir Anis Naviwala, an analyst at JS Research, said the bourse witnessed a range-bound session. “We recommend investors to avail any downside as an opportunity to buy in the banking and E&P sectors,” he suggested.

The highest increase was recorded in Unilever Foods, which rose by Rs450 to Rs20,550 per share, followed by Pak Hotels, which increased by Rs15.45 to Rs251.99 per share. A significant decline was noted in Nestle Pakistan, which fell by Rs47.21 to Rs7,142.79 per share, followed by Pak Services, which decreased by Rs29.85 to Rs701.15 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the the bench index saw marginal gains, reinforcing the 46,000 points level as a solid support in the market. "Market participants are now looking forward to potential upside expansion in the Thursday session, with expectations of a strong close to the trading week," the brokerage said.

Maple Leaf remained the volume leader with 11.085 million shares which closed higher by 70 paisas to Rs30.18 per share. It was followed by Pak Petroleum with 9.115 million shares, which closed higher by Rs1.50 to Rs74.47 per share. Other significant turnover stocks included WorldCall Telecom, P.I.A.C.(A), Oil & Gas Dev., Dewan Motors, Bankislami Pak., B.O. Punjab, Sui North Gas and Pak Elektron. Shares’ turnover in the future contracts decreased to 228.432 million shares from 283.947 million shares.