Market watch: Volumes soar to new peak at PSX, but index falls
The Pakistan Stock Exchange saw on Thursday a roller coaster ride as the benchmark KSE-100 index closed down by 22 points despite registering lofty gains for most of the day.
Continuing Wednesday’s trend, the trading volumes climbed to a fresh peak of 2.2 billion shares by the end of session.
Some investors remained cautious ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Friday and chose to stay on the sidelines. Though the market expected a status quo in the benchmark interest rate, investors resorted to profit-booking to shield their investments from the impact of a surprise change in the policy rate.
Technology and communication sectors outshined others by attracting more than half the trading volumes.
Earlier, the session began with a spike and the KSE-100 index climbed over 300 points in early trading. Record high volumes, recorded a day ago, encouraged investors to assume fresh positions.
The index plunged in the final hour, which erased all the gains and dragged the market down.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 21.56 points, or 0.05%, to settle at 46,790.75.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that MSCI rebalancing created excitement in the market with heavy flows into Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC), Lucky Cement and TRG Pakistan, which were the key stocks in the changes announced earlier in the month.
Besides, WorldCall Telecom repeated the performance of previous day by becoming the volume leader again. It helped the market realise total trading volumes of 2.2 billion shares, the highest ever beating the record of 1.56 billion shares touched on Wednesday.
In the last half hour, the index traded in the red with a decline of 137 points. However, it closed lower by 22 points.
The banking sector kept the index in the green for most part of the day, with particular interest in HBL and UBL, the report said.
JS Global analyst Neelum Naz said that Wednesday’s momentum continued on Thursday as well amid MSCI rebalancing, with rampant activity. The market registered record high volumes for the second consecutive day with trading in 2.2 billion shares, she said.
The market remained positive for most of the session and local investor interest pushed it to a high of 47,206. However, the index closed negative by 22 points (at 46,791) as it eventually succumbed to pressure from futures rollover.
WorldCall Telecom alone contributed 950 million shares, ie 43%, to the overall volumes.
Good investor participation was also seen in blue chip stocks like Lucky Cement (+1.3%; 6.9 million shares), MCB (-0.8%; 5.6 million shares), HBL (+1%; 3.9 million shares) and OGDC (0%; 47.4 million shares).
“Despite the rollover week with high volumes, we believe the bullish trend can continue in the coming weeks. Hence, any correction should be viewed as a buying opportunity in value stocks,” the analyst said.
Overall trading volumes soared to 2.22 billion shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 1.56 billion. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs42.8 billion.
Shares of 432 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 173 stocks closed higher, 241 declined and 18 remained unchanged.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 950.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs3.24. It was followed by Hum Network with 172.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.38 to close at Rs8.19 and Silkbank with 126.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.07 to close at Rs1.52