Pakistan’s stock market on Tuesday experienced a volatile session owing to worsening state of affairs on the Covid front combined with nationwide protests that hurt investor confidence in equities and capped gains.
As a result, the benchmark KSE-100 index gained just 71 points.
A persistent increase in Covid infections across the country impacted investor morale as growing fears of a complete lockdown left them worried.
On the other hand, protests by a political party in major cities of Pakistan kept economic activity muted, which took a toll on investor spirits.
Earlier, stock trading kicked off with a dip, however, the market managed to erase the losses and enter the positive territory in early hours.
Owing to volatility, the market oscillated between red and green zones in later hours and absence of positive triggers kept trading in a narrow range until close.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 70.52 points, or 0.16%, to settle at 45,048.57 points.
In its report, Arif Habib Limited stated that the market traded in a narrow range of -198 points and +155 points, closing the session up by 71 points.
Main board stocks were largely in consolidation phase and Tuesday’s session was no different.
Banking sector stocks inched up with particular interest in UBL, especially by the end of session.
Technology stocks experienced a see-saw movement, among which NetSol rebounded and hit its upper circuit, whereas TRG Pakistan (which rose to its upper circuit on Monday) came under selling pressure and traded below previous day’s closing price.
Among small caps, Ghani Global Holdings, Ghani Global Glass Limited, Hum Network and Telecard Limited were in the limelight.
First National Equities topped the volumes with trading in 106.5 million shares, followed by Unity Foods (29.8 million) and Byco (28.5 million), the report said.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said that KSE-100 closed at 45,048 with a gain of +71 points.
During the session, the index traded between intra-day high and low of +155 and -198 points. Volatility prevailed in the market amid profit-taking by investors.
Hi-Tech Lubricants in the oil marketing companies sector decided to enter new business opportunities in the plastic packaging industry by venturing into production of plastic products for external customers and third parties.
“We expect the market to remain volatile and recommend investors to book profit on the higher side. However, sharp dips could be viewed as an opportunity to accumulate stocks in cement and steel sectors,” the analyst said.
Overall trading volumes fell to 473.4 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 503.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs18.5 billion.
Shares of 398 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 174 stocks closed higher, 201 declined and 23 remained unchanged.
First National Equities was the volume leader with 106.6 million shares, losing Re1 to close at Rs11.93. It was followed by Unity Foods with 29.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.26 to close at Rs31.09 and Byco Petroleum with 28.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.12 to close at Rs10.13.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs232 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.