KARACHI: The stock market remained listless on Monday amid thin trading as the bourse appeared to be consolidating at the current high level, having already given out returns of 9.54 per cent in December.
The benchmark KSE-100 index, after several failed attempts to break out into another rally that saw it touch an intra-day peak of 265 points, closed somewhat flat with gains of 55.74 points, or 0.12pc, at 46,689.73.
Investors deferred new-year buying and instead opted to take profit in late session. The volume of shares traded during the day plunged 21.8pc to 179 million shares while the trading value decreased 14.2pc to Rs9bn.
Interest was seen in Hub Power Company (Hubco) which contributed 29 points to today’s rise. Dewan Cement gained to close at its upper circuit for the second consecutive session with 6m shares traded.
The auto sector garnered investor interest as it rose 2pc over the previous session close. Major gainers were Honda Atlas Cars which surged 5pc and Pak Suzuki 2.43pc. According to Intermarket Securities, trading activity was mostly mixed while positive contribution came from autos, steel, pharmaceuticals and fertilisers along with selected stocks from exploration and production, cements and banks.
In the steel sector, International Steel Ltd hit its upper circuit, Amreli Steels rose 3.48pc and Aisha Steel Mills 2.81pc. In the pharmaceutical sector, Searle Pakistan edged higher by 0.78pc and Wyeth Pakistan 3.59pc contributed to index gains.
The Oil and Gas Development Company increased 0.71pc, Lucky Cement 0.60pc, Hubco 1.73pc and Adamjee Insurance 2.6pc.
The market started off on a positive note after its three-day bearish spell, but succumbed to selling pressure, Dealer Abra Juma on the sales desk at Global Securities said.