KARACHI: The stock market had a subdued session on Monday with the benchmark index finishing trading on a flat note.
The KSE-100 index initiated trading on a positive note amid mixed signals. Support to the index came from the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that carried an improved outlook on Pakistan.
The IMF also approved an increase in the sovereign guarantee ceiling for Pakistan, which would allow the government to slash the swelling circular debt in the energy chain by floating Sukuk.
On the political front, businesses were reassured after the government made drastic changes to the country’s accountability law – the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 – through a presidential ordinance.
Despite these developments, the index slipped later in the day and finished with a meagre gain of 39 points.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 39.10 points, or 0.10% to settle at 40,887.63.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said equities closed on a flat note with the benchmark KSE-100 index gaining just 39 points and closing at 40,888.
Engro (+3.1%), Lucky Cement (+2.4%), Hubco (+1.1%), PSO (+1.3%) and Engro Fertilisers (+1%) all closed in the green. “However, we expect the market to trade sideways in the short term,” he added.
Topline Securities, in its report, stated that the KSE-100 index remained volatile on the first trading session of the week. “Interestingly though, the intra-day high was 446 points from where the dive came through profit-taking.”
K-Electric closed positive with a gain of 7.41% as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) allowed the power utility to hike tariff by an average of Rs1.40 per unit.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 165.8 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 267.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.6 billion.
Shares of 362 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 201 stocks closed higher, 138 declined and 23 remained unchanged.
K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 19.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.29 to close at Rs4.35. It was followed by Unity Foods with 10.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.21 to close at Rs15.90 and WorldCall Telecom with 9.1 million shares and no change in its share price that closed at Rs1.38.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs154.6 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.