Stocks manage modest gains amid low volume

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KARACHI: Stock market remained dull throughout the day, which saw volume shrink 45pc to 73m shares on Thursday, representing 9-month low. Trading value fell to Rs4 billion which was at 14-month low. The KSE-100 index managed to claw up by 20.99 points to 29,697.79. While local institutions and individuals were on the sell side, the market received support from foreign investors who bought $4.81 million worth equity. Overseas inflow this week turns out at $16m.

On Thursday foreign investors put $2.5m in oil and gas sector with Pakistan Petroleum posting gain of Rs8.06 and Pakistan Refinery hitting its ‘upper circuit’ with addition of Rs8.53. Lafarge Cement was the volume leader with 6m shares; the stock closing up by 19 paisa on rumours of a favourable sale price in the upcoming auction.

Samar Iqbal, AVP Equity sales at Topline Securities commented that Hubco stock kept on rising after Supreme Court decided tax case in favour of the company on Wednesday.

SSGC and SNGP remained in limelight ahead of ECC meeting to approve Rs49bn to be charged from gas consumer to cover gas losses.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp stated that stocks closed higher on strong earnings outlook.
Release of Rs39.7bn subsidy to ease circular debt in energy sector, favourable SC decision on pending Rs1.9bn Hubco tax refunds, speculations over outcome of improved CPI data at 8.2pc YoY for June 2014 on upcoming SBP policy played a catalyst role in positive sentiments ahead of corporate earning announcements despite concerns for dismal impact of revised GIDC levy on fertiliser sector scrips.

Fahad M. Ali at JS Global commented that the bourse witnessed another lacklustre day.