Equity market gains 32 points in range bound trading

Equity market gains 32 points in range bound trading

The equity market saw modest gains on Wednesday, with the benchmark KSE-100 index closing at 38,929 points, up from the previous day’s 38,896 points, marking an increase of 32 points.

The trading activity at the equity market was predominantly range-bound, continuing the trend observed over the past few sessions.

Analysts at Arif Habib Limited highlighted that the equity market’s performance remained constrained within a narrow range, reflecting the cautious sentiment among investors.

The volume leader for the day was at the equity market was The Bank of Punjab (BOP), which saw 23.6 million shares traded. The banking sector overall led the volume charts with a total of 32 million shares exchanged.

Investor interest appeared subdued, with a notable shift in focus towards Interloop’s book building process. Equity market participants remained wary amid expectations of an impending gas price hike sanctioned by the Finance Minister, along with a possible increase in interest rates. Both factors are anticipated to escalate the cost of doing business, thereby impacting market sentiment.

Sector-wise, the equity market experienced selling pressure in the Cement, Steel, and Exploration & Production (E&P) sectors. In contrast, the Fertilizer sector managed to remain relatively unaffected. Key sectors contributing to the market’s performance included Banks, which added 42 points, Power (24 points), and Tobacco (11 points). On the downside, the E&P sector detracted 23 points, Cement lost 15 points, and the Autos sector was down by 11 points.

Trading volumes saw a slight increase, rising from 90 million shares to 93 million shares, reflecting a 4 percent day-on-day growth. However, the average traded value decreased by 17 percent, dropping to US$ 23.5 million from the previous US$ 28.3 million.

Among the most actively traded stocks, BOP, K-Electric Limited (KEL), Unity Foods Limited (UNITY), Siddiqsons Tin Plate Limited (STPL), and Lotte Chemical Pakistan Limited (LOTCHEM) together accounted for 47 percent of the total market volume.

On the gainers’ side, Habib Bank Limited (HBL) contributed 25 points, Hub Power Company (HUBC) added 20 points, United Bank Limited (UBL) gained 17 points, Philip Morris Pakistan Limited (PMPK) added 11 points, and Engro Polymer and Chemicals Limited (EPCL) contributed 8 points to the index. Conversely, Meezan Bank Limited (MEBL) saw a decline of 15 points, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) dropped by 9 points, Packages Limited (PKGS) lost 8 points, Lucky Cement (LUCK) fell by 8 points, and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) decreased by 7 points.

Overall, despite the range-bound trading activity and investor concerns over potential economic policy changes, the PSX managed to close in positive territory, demonstrating resilience amid prevailing uncertainties.