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Bourse snaps five-day winning streak



Profit-booking marred trading at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Wednesday and erased 80 points from the benchmark KSE-100 index in a range-bound session.

Expectations of a further increase in policy rate by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its monetary policy announcement, due later this month, caused selling pressure as the bourse snapped a five-day bull run.

With the jump in international coal prices, cement companies’ stocks took a battering as investors expected an increase in input cost of cement plants. A fresh recovery of the rupee against the US dollar failed to propel the index higher.

The KSE-100 index fell into the negative territory following a brief rally in the initial hour and traded in a narrow band throughout the day. A few attempts made to lift the market proved futile. Nevertheless, the bourse managed to sustain the 47,000-point mark.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 80.48 points, or 0.17%, to settle at 47,032.44.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, said that the market remained range bound due to concerns over monetary tightening and resumption of foreign selling.

Technology sector had been in the limelight throughout the day as traders placed bets on high-beta stocks to make quick gains.

“On the flip side, institutional investors went for value hunting as buying was observed in exploration and production and banking stocks,” it said.

“In the last trading hour, investors opted for profit-booking, especially in cement and steel stocks, on expectation of interest rate hike by the SBP in the upcoming monetary policy.”

JS Global analyst Waqar Iqbal said that mixed sentiment was noted as investors opted for profit-booking since the start of the session, especially in cement and steel sectors, but renewed buying interest in the technology sector was also visible.

The KSE-100 index managed to keep itself above the 47,000 level throughout the session, he said.

PTCL took the lead in volumes on the announcement of extraordinary general meeting for the election of directors.

“It is recommend to investors to book profit at current levels and wait for a buying opportunity,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes rose to 380.6 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 306.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs15.5 billion.

Shares of 366 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 182 stocks closed higher, 163 declined and 21 remained unchanged.

PTCL was the volume leader with 22.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.94 to close at Rs10.18. It was followed by Hascol Petroleum with 17.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.21 to close at Rs6.02 and WorldCall Telecom with 16.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs2.44.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs527.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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