Stocks close flat on lack of triggers

KARACHI: The market started out on a positive footing and extended earlier day’s gains but the bullish momentum could not be sustained and extensive selling in late hours saw the KSE-100 index close about flat with minor loss of 29.96 points (0.10 per cent) at 30,214.77. During the day, the index touched intra-day high and low of 499 points and 99 points respectively. Investors did not hold on to their positions as it was the last day of trading week, with Friday being national holiday. Investors therefore enter­­ed into profit booking majorly in blue chips. The market moving news was the decision by the government to withdraw the Gas Infrastructure Develop­ment Cess Ordinance, 2019. While the PM held meetings with industrialists’ and sought their co-operation in attracting investments, the government circles also rubbished talks of an imminent mini-budget to stem the deteriorating economic indicators, including high fiscal deficit, lower tax-to-GDP ratios and high interest rates. Long-term investors were also concerned over the results of upcoming Financial Action Task Force meeting, scheduled to be held on Sept 9-10. Volumes increased from 128.9 million shares to 146.5m shares (up 14pc day-on-day) whereas traded value also increased from $31.3m to $32.6m, up 4pc DoD. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes included Maple Leaf Cement Factory (MLCF), Wordcall Telecom Ltd, Lotte Chemical, Pak Elektron Ltd and Unity Foods which formed 37pc of the total volumes. Steel, cements, banks, auto and oil and gas marketing companies sectors contributed to the index slide. In cements, two major scrips D.G. Khan and MLCF hit their upper circuit in early trade but retreated sharply by the end due to rumour of rights issue by both companies. Exploration and production sector clutched on to their earlier day’s levels. Pakistan Oilfields Ltd opened ex-dividend and spiked due to buying activity, however, the end of session again saw it trading below opening rate. Major losers for the day were MCB Bank was down 2.99pc, Engro Corporation 2.44pc, United Bank Ltd 1.83pc, Lucky Cement 1.80pc and Nestle Pakistan 5pc. Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2019

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