The stock market shed the gloom of previous session as the KSE-100 index rose nearly 180 points on bets of status quo in the monetary policy and closed near the 45,000-point mark.

The market kicked off trading on a positive note as investors looked for those shares for value buying that had turned pretty attractive after massive selling on Thursday.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was set to announce the monetary policy towards the end of the session, where most believed the policy rate would be kept unchanged at 7%.

Later, in line with market expectations, the central bank maintained the status quo and left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 7% for the next two months.

The market, however, saw choppy trading due to rising coronavirus cases and political noise in the country. There was also nervousness over the decline in oil prices in the international market, which fell by the most since 2020 on growing worries about rising Covid-19 cases in Europe and the strengthening US dollar.

The stock market kicked off trading on a positive note and remained in the green for most of the first session. However, it receded after trading resumed in the second half, and the KSE-100 index dived.

Bears and bulls wrestled for control of the market throughout the day with the latter maintaining a strong hold.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded an increase of 177.22 points, or 0.4%, to settle at 44,901.31 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market followed the trend witnessed the previous day by retreating 331 points in the first session, but it bounced back strongly and added a total of 448 points. The index closed up by 177 points.

In its monetary policy decision, the SBP left the rate unchanged, which was announced after the end of trading session. Refinery, cement, steel, oil and gas marketing sectors performed well in the latter part of the session.

Sectors contributing to the performance included power (+49 points), technology (+42 points), oil and gas marketing companies (+42 points), refinery (+27 points) and pharmaceutical (+22 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included HBL (+60 points), Pakistan State Oil (+31 points), TRG Pakistan (+25 points), Hubco (+22 points) and Systems Limited (+17 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were Oil and Gas Development Company (-27 points), UBL (-24 points), Indus Motor (-19 points), Fauji Fertiliser (-16 points) and Bank AL Habib (-14 points).

Overall trading volumes fell to 484.6 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 554.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs21.8 billion.

Shares of 388 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 263 stocks closed higher, 111 declined and 14 remained unchanged.

Byco Petroleum was the volume leader with 101.4 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs11.04. It was followed by K-Electric with 38.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.14 to close at Rs4.26 and TRG Pakistan with 30.6 million shares, gaining Rs2.37 to close at Rs140.96.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs148.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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