Stocks manage modest gains in sluggish trade

KARACHI: Pakistan equities posted another range-bound session on Tuesday owing to the absence of triggers, said Ismail Iqbal Securities Ltd.

The benchmark index traded in the positive zone despite lacklustre activity throughout the trading session because of the political instability. Investors’ participation remained sluggish as volumes continued to fall, said Arif Habib Ltd.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti said a bull run in global equities, higher global crude oil prices and a favourable statement by the US government on the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear assets played the role of a catalyst in the bullish close.

As a result, the KSE-100 index settled at 41,839.27 points, up 83.82 points or 0.2 per cent from the preceding session.

The trading volume decreased 42.1pc to 190.3 million shares while the traded value went down 39.8pc to $26.4m on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included WorldCall Telecom Ltd (29.8m shares), First National Equities Ltd (11.67m shares), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (8.41m shares), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (6.58m shares) and Dewan Cement Ltd (5.86m shares).

Sectors that contributed to the index performance were technology and communication (25.5 points), commercial banking (14.7 points), fertiliser (10.9 points), cement (10 points) and textile composite (9.2 points).

Companies registering the biggest increase in their share prices in absolute terms were Sapphire Textile Mills Ltd (Rs45.40), Premium Textile Mills Ltd (Rs31.60), Archroma Pakistan Ltd (Rs27.59), Philip Morris Pakistan Ltd (Rs22.08) and Faisal Spinning Mills Ltd (Rs21.44).

Shares that declined the most in rupee terms were Nestle Pakistan Ltd (Rs150), Sapphire Fibres Ltd (Rs91.02), Sanofi-Aventis Pakistan Ltd (Rs47), Reliance Cotton Spinning Mills Ltd (Rs42.15) and JDW Sugar Mills Ltd (Rs33.53).

Foreign investors remained net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $1.07m.

“Moving forward, any upside will face resistance and, hence, further range-bound sessions can be witnessed,” said JS Global, adding that investors should stay cautious at current levels and wait for dips.

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