Stocks close flat on lack of triggers

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed a turbulent session on Friday, with the indices swaying both ways in search of a clear direction before closing flat.

Global equity markets displayed a negative trend, whereas crude oil prices also slipped lower from the previous close; WTI crude price falling 1.19pc to $40.63, while Brent crude price dropping 0.85pc to $43.16.

As per analysts, rising number of coronavirus cases and possibility of a second lockdown dented investors’ confidence at the local bourse.

“The market started on a negative note as selling pressure was observed in cement, exploration & production and oil & gas marketing sectors. Cement sector staged recovery before the midday break and carried the momentum in the afternoon session as well,” a report issued by Arif Habib Ltd read.

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The movement of the benchmark KSE-100 Index remained volatile on Friday, as it recorded its intraday low at 40,262.22 (-302.34 points) and high at 40,689.60 (+125.04 points). It finally ended flat (+4.79 points) at 40,569.35.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index dropped 230.70 points to close at 64,746.92, whereas the KSE All Share Index gained 8.57 points, settling at 28,456.78.

The overall market volumes fell from 328.28 million shares in the previous session to 242.95 million shares (-26pc). Average traded value also declined by 30pc, from $71.5 million to $49.9 million. Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL +4.53pc), Unity Foods Ltd (UNITY +0.81pc) and TRG Pakistan Ltd (TRG -1.18pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 28.27 million, 19.56 million and 15.29 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that kept the benchmark index afloat included technology & communication (+6.16 points), banking (+5.65 points) and cement (+5.56 points). Among the companies, Systems Ltd (SYS +7.53 points), Habib Bank Ltd (HBL +2.76 points) and Hub Power Company Ltd (HUBC +2.64 points) remained the top contributors.

Adding 1.96pc to its cumulative market capitalization, the technology & communication sector ended as session’s top performer, with SYS (+5.52pc), NetSol Technologies Ltd (NETSOL +4.48pc) and TPL Properties Ltd (TPLP +1.82pc) posting decent gains.

Meanwhile, in a notification to the exchange, Hub Power Company Ltd (HUBC +0.74pc) announced that the company has executed and issued an Islamic Shariah-compliant discounted Sukuk of Rs6,000 million through its wholly-owned subsidiary. The purpose of this Sukuk is to finance the company’s ongoing capital requirements.

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