Stocks begin new year in the green; KSE-100 index up 442 points at midday

Stocks began the new year in the green, with the benchmark KSE-100 index up 442 points, a 1.09 per cent increase, to reach 41,117 points at midday.

However, the market has since shed some of its gains as it continues its directionless trend from the previous day. At around 2pm on Wednesday, the benchmark index stood at 41,089 points – up 364 points from the start of the day.

Speaking to, Ali Asghar Poonawala, Deputy Head of Research at AKD Securities, said the gains can be attributed to personal and consumer goods, which alongside retail favourites were performing beyond expectations.

But Poonawala did point out that recently, on days when the market has risen, the gains are usually erased by day end as investors turn to profit-taking.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD

“Retail favourites can only take the market so far,” he added.

He said the market’s positive performance doesn’t translate into a consistent upward trajectory because either “there is an improved risk appetite or a lot of retail participation that needs to translate into mutual funds and other institutions”.

Poonawala said the market was following the general trend observed on the first day of a new year.

The stock market had remained directionless on Tuesday, the last day of 2019, with the KSE-100 index closing 152.55 points (0.37 per cent) in the red at 40,735.08 after trading in a narrow band between the intraday high and low of 110 and 119 points.

Investor activity was low on Tuesday as the volume and value of shares traded stood down from the previous day. Among participants, banks sold stocks worth $2.96 million to book profit that would have a positive impact on their bottom lines for the quarter ended December 31. Foreign investors also sold shares of $2.51m as they rebalanced their portfolios for the upcoming year.