Range-bound index ends in the red KARACHI: Stocks remained range-bound on Friday with the benchmark KSE-100 index moving in a narrow band of 149 points, before closing down by 52 points (0.13 per cent) at 41,200.
The volume of shares traded during the day receded to 463 million shares from 775m shares a day ago while the trading value took a plunge to Rs14.3 billion from Rs18.1bn.
Investors avoided taking fresh positions ahead of the weekend. Save for a couple of scrips, most volume leaders were again low-priced second- and third-tier stocks, which enabled 24 stocks to close at their ‘upper circuit’.
Foreign investors sold equity worth $3.1m on Friday with the outflow of $3.09m from the fertiliser sector.
The steel companies continued to shine, with Mughal Iron and Steel Industries Ltd (up 1.9pc) and International Industries Ltd (up 4pc) closing as gainers while International Steels Ltd fell 0.7pc and Amreli Steels Ltd dropped 1.2pc on profit-taking.
Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGC) (up 0.07pc) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (up 4.2pc) witnessed a sharp surge in turnover although SSGC came off its high towards the end of the session.
The auto sector, despite a healthy start, corrected towards the end to close on a mixed note. Among cements, heavyweight Lucky Cement (down 2.2pc) and Maple Leaf Cement (down 0.88pc) were noticeable losers as cement sales growth slowed down to 3.55pc in September.
Additionally, coal prices at 36-month high of $77 a tonne also continued to exert pressure on the sector, causing most cement companies to close negative. Banks were generally mixed but major fall was noted in MCB Bank (down 1.4pc) while Engro Corporation (down 0.61pc) was a laggard on fertiliser sector.