KARACHI: Complete lack of interest in trading at the stock market saw the volume dip to three-year low at just 75 million shares on Monday.

The benchmark KSE-100 index moved narrowly between the positive and negative. However, it closed with gains of 185.77 points (0.42 per cent) at 44,523.21 on late buying. Intraday, the index briefly breached the 44,000-support level.

Dealers at Elixir Securities said that trading remained range bound as participants were glued to the TV screens, watching the Supreme Court proceedings. Lack of flows from both local and foreign institutional investors kept stock prices down. Uncertainty gave rise to indecision and no one wanted to take fresh positions until the dust had settled.

Analyst Adnan Sami Sheikh at Topline Securities said the trading volume thinned to the lowest since Aug 22, 2014, when calls for the incumbent PM’s resignation were first sounded by the opposition amid alleged election rigging.

On Monday, traded volume shrank 33pc to 3-year low at 75.3m shares while traded value contracted 30pc over the previous session to Rs4.2bn. Third and second-tier stocks were on the volume leaders list with KEL (+0.30pc) taking the top slot with dealings in 7m shares, followed by Engro Polymer showing 6m shares changing hands.

Top contributors to the index were BAHL which gained 4.3pc, HUBC 1.8pc, Lucky 1.5pc, UBL 1.3pc and OGDC 1.4pc.

While HBL declined by 0.7pc, PPL 1.1pc, JLICL 4pc, PMPK 4.3pc and Engro 0.3pc taking away 62 points.

Sector-wise, pharmaceuticals added 36 points, power and banks 34 points each, cements 28 points, exploration and production (E&P) 27 points. Textile shed 8 points. Analysts at JS Global said the E&P sector stocks were up due to increase in oil prices as a slowdown in the growth of rigs drilling in the United States eased concerns of surging shale supplies.

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