PSX witness See-saw session

KSE-100 index increases 0.4% to settle at 38,564.37

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our correspondent
KARACHI
The KSE-100 index gained 153 points in a see-saw session on Tuesday as positive current account data lent support to investors while speculation over the upcoming monetary policy capped gains. According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Monday, Pakistan’s current account turned positive after a hiatus of four years and recorded a surplus of $99 million in October 2019.
However, investor sentiment was partially dented after SBP Governor Reza Baqir hinted at keeping interest rate at the current level in the monetary policy to be announced on Friday. Market participants, who had earlier expected the central bank to slash the policy rate, resorted to profit-booking.
Earlier, trading began with a sharp spike, however, the market was unable to sustain the momentum as investors started booking profit, thus dragging the market down and erasing gains. From that point onwards, the bourse turned range bound and traded in a narrow band for the rest of the day.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 385.3 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 466.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs14.1 billion. Shares of 390 companies were traded.
K-Electric was the volume leader with 27.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.05 to close at Rs4.36. It was followed by The Bank of Punjab with 25 million shares, losing Rs0.2 to close at Rs11.06 and Dost Steels with 22.3 million shares, losing Rs0.51 to close at Rs5.45. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs618.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Profit-booking was witnessed in cement, financial and steel sectors, where Cherat Cement (-4.5%), Pioneer Cement (-3.6%), Fauji Cement (-2.4%), Maple Leaf Cement (-1%), UBL (-1.4%), The Bank of Punjab (-1.8%), Bank AL Habib (-1.4%), HBL (-0.2%), Mughal Iron and Steel (-2.8%), International Steels (-3%) and Aisha Steel Mills (-6%) were the major losers.
At the end of the day, 187 stocks closed higher, 177 declined and 26 remained unchanged. The benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 152.81 points, or 0.4%, to settle at 38,564.37.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market moved between red and green zones throughout the session. Initially, the index gained 500 points but erased all the increase on profit-booking, which pushed the index down by 18 points. Trading activity picked up pace again with the index gaining 350 points.

At the end of the session, selling pressure emerged again and the index closed up by 153 points. Key stocks that sustained the selling pressure included DG Khan Cement, Maple Leaf Cement, Fauji Cement and largely the steel sector, where Mughal Iron and Steel traded at its lower circuit.
In the fertiliser sector, Engro hit a recent high near Rs345, but faced selling pressure that pulled the price down to Rs338. Trading volumes stood at 385 million shares, with the cement sector leading the table with trading in 53.2 million shares, followed by banks (40.1 million) and power companies (38.5 million), the report added.

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