KARACHI: On the last trading day of the shortened four-day week, stocks fell flat (Feb 5 being Kashmir Solidarity Day). The KSE-100 index closed in red on Thursday at 27.84 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 46,905 points.
The index checked the three-year-high 47,000 level again, but the bears’ heavy resistance did not allow it to hang on and the benchmark beat a hasty retreat again. The session saw a decent degree of uncertainty with the index taking a good start and climbing by 406 points to 47,342 on the way to intraday highs.Unnerved at the dizzy height and with extended holidays ahead, citizens, traders, insurers and firms resorted to profit-taking in all markets, causing heavy losses in some big stocks, which dragged down the index.
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Foreign investors invested $1.94m worth of stocks, hedge funds contributed $2.17 to equities, and net buyers were also banks and enterprises. JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani noted that Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim, with a volume of 9.6 million shares, closed favourably on news that the ECC had enabled the firm to continue supplying gas for a further five years.
In addition, as the ECC was stated to have approved the elimination of the dividend payment limit, Mari Petroleum hit its upper circuit. OGDC, which owns a 20pc stake in it, also closed in green as a result. In the pharmaceutical business, strain was observed, where AGP Ltd closed at the lower limit and Searle was also sold under pressure.
Mari Petroleum, OGDC, Lucky Cement, PPL and Systems Ltd were stocks that were significant contributors to the index rally, as they contributed 191 points cumulatively to the index.
TRG, AGP, PAKT, DGKC and BAFL lost ground on the flip side, weighing down 111 points on the index. At 440 m shares, the amount traded was smaller than the 616 m shares of the previous day. The volume exchanged for the day stood at Rs.26.4bn, down from Rs29.5bn on Wednesday as well. Pakistan Refinery led the leaders in volume.