KARACHI: Stocks closed flat on Thursday with the KSE-100 index marginally up by 8.75 points or 0.03 per cent to 29,604.30.
The index traded in a range of 250 points between the intra-day low and high.
Several market participants said that market could be witnessing a ‘cooling off period’, following huge gains of 1,101 points or 3.84pc in the earlier two days. They, however, insisted that having crossed the 29,600 points level, the index was securely in bullish territory.
Yet, several other market strategists were of the view that the index surge was mainly attributable to the foreign investors who had bought stocks worth $7.57 million in the previous two days; on Thursday more foreign inflows of $5.42m were recorded.
Local investors were still reluctant as dust on political scene was still far from having settled. “Delays in release of IMF $550m tranche on political standoff and below expected payouts in oil sector and falling banking spreads impacted the sentiments,” commented analyst Ahsan Mehanti.
He said that late session support in selected oil, cement and fertiliser
stocks played a major role in the close of market in plus territory as investors counted on positive impact of GIDC removal and rising global fertiliser prices.
Samar Iqbal, AVP at Topline Securities, observed that the market witnessed above average volume amid institutional interest.
Lucky Cement added another Rs5.54 to its earlier gains, while some profit-taking was seen in OGDC, PSO, and PPL.
Analyst Arhum Ghous affirmed that the investor sentiment remained positive due to the strong foreign portfolio buying on Wednesday and news of World Economic Forum improving Pakistan competitiveness ranking to 129 from 133.