Stocks close flat in range-bound session

KARACHI: It was a dull start to the trading week at Pakistan Stock Exchange, as the incides kept trading within a narrow range before closing flat.

Investors preferred to stay on sidelines as they awaited the Financial Action Task Force’s official decision regarding Pakistan.

According to media reports, FATF has found Pakistan “fully compliant” on 14 of the 27-point action plan, showing the country “is making progress to comply with all its conditions”.

Starting the session at 40,251.26, the KSE-100 Index soon touched its intraday high at 40,521.69 after gathering 278.43 points. However, it failed to maintain the positive momentum and slipped to its intraday low at 40,047.93 (-195.33 points). The index finally settled flat (+33.67 points) at 40,276.93.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index declined by 344.13 points to end at 63,717.40, while the KSE All Share Index closed lower by 13.06 points at 28,002.69. Out of the total traded scrips, 122 advanced and 154 declined.

The overall market volumes remained thin and were recorded at 99.97 million. Out of the traded shares, 77.58 million belonged to 100 index scrips. Unity Foods Limited (UNITY +5.74pc), D G Khan Cement Company Limited (DGKC -2.23pc) and Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL +0.94pc) topped the volume chart. The scrips had exchanged 16.26 million, 9.13 million and 7.91 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that helped the index recover some ground included banking (+74.03 points), oil & gas marketing (+23.30 points) and technology (+9.16 points). Among the companies, Habib Bank Limited (HBL +108.14 points) turned out to be the top positive contributor to the index.

On the market front, Engro Fertilizer Limited (EFERT -0.98pc) announced earnings per share of Rs13.90 for FY19 (Rs12.48 in FY18), while Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BYCO +1.46pc) declared an EPS of Rs-0.12 for the second quarter of FY20 (Rs-0.06 in 2QFY20).

Meanwhile, Habib Bank Limited rejected a media report that claimed to have identified “a few weaknesses at HBL UAE branch in the year 2017”. HBL maintained that the bank has transformed its control and compliance processes to ensure “they are in line with international standards”.

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