Stocks close flat after volatile session

KARACHI: Putting an end to its winning streak, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) closed a volatile session on Tuesday flat, with the indices changing directions throughout the day in search of a clear direction.

“The market saw selling pressure right from the start, primarily due overnight decline in crude oil prices as well as profit booking in power, oil & gas marketing and fertilizer stocks,” a report issued by Arif Habib Ltd read. “Cement and steel sector stocks bounced back after yesterday’s selling activity mainly on the back of healthy growth in cement despatches, whereas chemical stocks also performed well ahead the closure of the quarter and in anticipation of posting better earnings.”

The benchmark KSE-100 Index endured a volatile session on Tuesday, registering its intraday low at 44,458.71 (-227.75 points) and high at 44,830.28 (+143.82 points). It finally settled lower by 36.03 points at 44,650.43.

Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index lost 269.78 points to end at 72,636.28, while the KSE All Share Index dropped 15.86 points, closing at 31,266.16.

The overall market volumes increased from 540.79 million shares in the previous session to 581.55 million shares (+8pc). Average trading value, on the contrary, declined by 9pc, from $166.3 million to $151 million. Hum Network Ltd (HUMNL +4.67pc), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL +7.49pc) and TRG Pakistan Ltd (TRG +3.51pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 68.81 million, 58.16 million and 31.05 million shares, respectively.

Sectors that dragged the benchmark index lower included oil & gas exploration (-169.62 points), power generation & distribution (-85.14 points) and oil & gas marketing (-52.07 points). Among the companies, Hub Power Company Ltd (HUBC -119.19 points), Pak Petroleum Ltd (PPL -89.29 points) and Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDC -60.60 points) dented the index the most.

Shedding 2.04pc from its cumulative market capitalization, the oil & gas exploration sector emerged as the session worst performer, with OGDC (-2.21pc), PPL (-3.69pc), and Pakistan Oilfields Ltd (POL -0.98pc) closing in the red.

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