Stocks end flat amid low turnover

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KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) moved in a narrow range on Friday, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index ending flat amid low turnover.

Foreign investors continued to offload equites on Thursday, registering a net outflow of $3.96 million.

According to market analysts, uncertainty regarding the rising number of cases/deaths caused by coronavirus across the country, and the government’s simultaneous announcement of ending “nationwide lockdown” from May 9, kept the investors at bay. Moreover, selling pressure was evident in banks, cement and exploration & production, which felt little impact of international oil prices.

The KSE-100 Index started the day on a positive note, gaining 197 points to touch its intraday high at 33,501.30. However, it changed direction thereon and recorded its intraday low at 33,159.05 after losing 145.11 points. The index finally closed flat (-36.47 points) at 33,267.69.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index added 37.21 points to end at 54,098.60, while the KSE All Share gained 31.19 points, settling at 23,682.18.

The overall market volumes declined from 175.8 million in the previous session to 88.0 million (-50pc). Average traded value also declined by 51pc, from $46.8 million to $23.9 million. Unity Foods Limited (UNITY +3.23pc), Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL -0.07pc) and Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF +0.12pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 9.29 million, 5.82 million and 5.54 million shares, respectively.

Positive contributors to the KSE-100 Index included oil & gas exploration (+32.41 points), power generation & distribution (+24.88 points) and food & personal care (+20.17 points). On the other hand, banking (-50.39 points), fertiliser (-28.56 points) and automobile assembling (-11.76 points) sectors pulled the index to the red zone.

Among the companies, Hub Power Company Limited (HUBC +27.30 points), Nestle Pakistan Limited (NESTLE +26.31 points) and Sui Northern Gas Pipe line Limited (SNGP +18.79 points) remained the positive contributors, as opposed to Lucky Cement Limited (LUCK -16.69 points), United Bank Limited (UBL -12.55 points) and I.C.I Pakistan Limited (ICI -11.97 points).

The automobile assembling sector lost 1.00pc from its total market capitalization, with Indus Motor Company Limited (INDU -3.05pc), Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited (HCAR -1.44pc) and Pakistan Suzuki Motors Company Limited (PSMC -1.47pc) closing in the red.

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