Stocks add 87 points in range-bound session

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KARACHI: Indices of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) traded within a narrow range on Thursday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index closing in the green despite accumulating losses in early trade.

Foreign investors closed the previous session (Wednesday) as net sellers, registering a net outflow of $3.04 million.

“The auction of Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) which resulted in normalization of yield curve, gave good reasons to investors to come back to equities,” said an analyst at Arif Habib Ltd. “However, weakening oil fundamentals kept the investors in limbo on whether to book profit or take new positions.”

Losing 225.78 points, the KSE-100 Index slipped to its intraday low at 31,016.41. However, it changed directions thereon to touch its intraday high at 31,447.22 (+205.03 points). The index settled higher by 87.27 points at 31,329.46.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index gained 237.14 points to close at 49,424.18, while the KSE All Share Index accumulated 209.91 points, ending at 22,398.18. Of the total traded shares, 151 advanced and 137 declined.

The overall trading volumes contracted from 185.45 million in the previous session to 118.92 million, with Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF +1.47pc), Unity Foods Limited (UNITY +4.47pc) and Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL -1.52pc) topping the volume chart. The scrips had exchanged 14.79 million, 10.90 million and 7.23 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that rescued the benchmark index from bears included oil & gas exploration (+41.71 points), tobacco (+36.59 points) and investment banking (+26.98 points). Among the companies, Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited (PAKT +27.82 points), Dawood Hercules Corporation Limited (DAWH +27.30 points) and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDC +20.67 points) remained the top positive contributors to the index.

Meanwhile, Sazgar Engineering Works Limited (SAZEW -1.44pc) announced its financial performance for the third quarter of FY20. The company’s revenue slipped 0.48pc YoY, while gross profit increased by 6.57pc. Its cumulative earnings per share fell from Rs3.09 last year to Rs1.88 during the period under review.

Also, Lotte Chemical Pakistan Limited (LOTCHEM -3.93pc) released its financial results for the first quarter of FY20. The company’s revenue declined by 27pc to Rs11.71 billion, which resulted in a gross loss of Rs113.08 million. The company’s EPS fell from Rs0.85 last year to Rs0.04.

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