Stocks end flat as profit-taking caps early gains

Stocks on Thursday ended without any significant change after late profit-taking eroded early gains, owing to foreign selling in some blue chips and trading stocks, while most of the activity remained centered in sideboard, cyclic, and trading shares, dealers said.

Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.25 percent or 88.77 points to close at 34,978.18 points, while KSE-30 shares index was up 0.24 percent or 36.11 points to end at 15,157.86 points level.

Topline Securities in a market note said, “The day started with market continuing its positive momentum making intraday high of 287 points and remained positive through most of the day”. “Investors interest was observed in major financials where MCB Bank, Bank Alfalah, United Bank Limited, and Habib Bank Limited contributed 65 points to the index,” the report said.

Of 381 active scrips, 224 up, 131 retreated, and 26 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 383.084 million shares, as compared with the turnover of 315.039 million shares in the previous session.

Tahir Abbas, head of research at Arif Habib Limited, said, “The market showed stability as several manufacturing stocks were in the buying chart as with the start of the new fiscal economy is expected to start limping back to normalcy”.

“Majority of activity emerged in sideboard, technology, and cyclical items,” Abbas added.

Zia Shafi, senior investment advisor at Intermarket Securities, said, “As expected the bull-run continued on the back of positive developments during last couple of days, cementing sentiments of the investors”.

“Investors should adopt trading strategy and buying on dips is recommended. One could see some buying activities ahead of financial results’ announcement season to commence soon,” Shafi added.

Sateesh Balani, director research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, said, “Equities remained on their upward trajectory throughout the session, but volatility increased significantly towards the end”. Moreover, the fixed income yields dropped by 3-40 bps across all the tenors as some investors bet on sustainability of interest rates, Balani added. Analyst Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporation, said, “Bullish trend continued amid higher trades on speculations ahead of year-end financial results due next week”.

Mehanti said oil, fertilisers, and cement stocks outperformed on surging global crude oil prices, reports of surging local fertiliser prices and higher cement dispatches.

“Rupee stability, subdued data on CPI Inflation at 8.59 percent in June 2020 and upbeat Rs3.9 trillion revenue collection data for FY20, played a catalytic role in bullish close at the PSX,” he added.

The market during the session touched the high of 35,137 points, but then selling pressure surfaced, which clipped the gains as investors resorted to book available gains. It touched a low of 34,889 points at the start of the session, where activity was mostly focused in banking, cement, steel and pharma sectors.

Nestle Pakistan, gaining Rs193.75 to close at Rs6,890/share, and Sapphire Textile, up Rs47.61 to finish at Rs925/share, were the top gainers, while Rafhan Maize, down Rs150 to close at Rs6,950/share, and Indus Dyeing, losing Rs29.99 to close at Rs565.01/share, turned out to be the main losers.

WorldCall Telecom posted the highest volumes with 52.827 million shares and gained Rs0.11 to end at Rs1.05/share. Hum Network’s turnover was the lowest with 10.231 million shares, whereas the scrip gained Rs0.78 to end at Rs14.31/share.

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