Stocks close flat in range-bound session

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KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) moved in a narrow range on Friday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index failing to capitalise on early gains and ending slightly lower.

Foreign investors ended the previous session (Thursday) as net sellers, registering a net outflow of $2.11 million.

On the economic front, Pakistan’s current account deficit fell by 99pc to $6 million in March 2020, as against $823 million in March 2019. Meanwhile, the country’s overall liquid foreign exchange reserves inched lower by 0.78pc; net reserves with commercial banks were up 1.43pc.

The KSE-100 Index started the day on a positive note, gaining 218.34 points to record its intraday high at 33,069.17. However, failing to maintain its flight, the index then slipped 110.99 points to hit its intraday low at 32,739.84. It finally closed lower by 44.45 points at 32,806.38.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index lost 185.70 points to end at 52,384.67, while the KSE All Share dropped 92.68 points, settling at 23,119.30. Of the total traded shares, 97 advanced and 181 declined.

The overall market volumes declined from 204.35 million in the previous session to 120.56 million shares, with Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL -2.21pc), Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF +0.56pc) and Kot Addu Power Company Limited (KAPCO -0.04pc) topping the volume chart. The scrips had exchanged 14.34 million, 14.17 million and 11.98 million shares, respectively.

In a notification to the exchange, the Board of Directors of Nimir Industrial Chemicals Ltd (NICL -0.20pc) announced an investment of Rs1.6 billion to expand the capacity of its caustic soda plant to 120 tonnes per day, which was earlier planned to be expanded to 50TPD.

Moreover, the Board of Directors of Thal Limited (THALL +4.23pc) passed a resolution to amalgamate its wholly owned subsidiary, A-One Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, into THALL, with completion date of June 30, 2020.

On the financial side, Indus Motor Company Limited (INDU +2.87pc) announced earnings per share (EPS) of Rs34.09 in the third quarter of FY20 (along with cash dividend of Rs10), Macter International Limited (MACTER +3.75pc) declared an EPS of Rs1.19, Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF +0.56pc) posted an EPS of Rs 1.17, Bestway Cement Limited (BWCL -0.82pc) recorded an EPS of -0.74, while Lucky Cement Limited (LUCK -0.46pc) published an EPS of Rs3.09.

Trade timings at the exchange during the holy month of Ramadan will be 10am to 2:45pm from Monday to Thursday, and till 1:45pm on Fridays.

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