KATHMANDU, July 22: The Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index opened Thursday’s trading almost flat and traded slightly in the positive territory for the first half of the session. A notable advance in mid-session saw the index almost hit 3,020 mark, before selling pressure in some of the sectors pulled the index back with the benchmark partially giving up day’s gains. At the close, Nepse was 18.76 points higher at 3,004.33.
Following a fairly upbeat start on Sunday, the index managed to hold on to most of its early week gains despite some selling pressure seen in mid-week. Consequently, the equity index closed above 3,000 mark. The index had closed above the psychological level only twice earlier. Mainly banking stocks witnessed enthusiasm helping the index hold ground in green. Turnover also improved with a total transaction of over Rs. 11 billion.
Sectors ended mixed. Mutual Fund sector stretched gains as the group’s sub-index shot up by 5.27%. Banking and Finance sub-indices also jumped 1.73% and 1.65%. Hydropower and Non-Life Insurance segments ended moderately higher. Trading sub-index fell the most dipping more than 2% on the day. ‘Others’ and Hotels & Tourism sub-indices ended with declines of around half a percent each. All other sectors inched marginally lower.
Agriculture Development Bank Ltd was the most heavily traded stock of the day with a turnover of Rs. 462 million. Nepal Bank Ltd and NIC Asia Bank Ltd followed suit with turnovers of Rs. 360 million apiece. Ngadi Group Power Ltd and Siddhartha Bank Ltd posted transactions of Rs. 343 million and Rs. 321 million. Manjushree Finance Ltd, Arun Kabeli Power Ltd, Nabil Bank Ltd and Arun Valley Hydropower Development Company Ltd were among other actively traded scrips.
Mutual Fund sectors continued to dominate the list of gainers. Furthermore, CEDB Hydropower Development Company Ltd, Ngadi Group Power Ltd, Pokhara Finance Ltd and Mountain Hydro Nepal Ltd also rallied to hit the upper circuit level of 10%. Kalika Power Company Ltd, Green Life Hydropower Ltd and Agriculture Development Bank Ltd rose around 8% each.
On the other hand, shares of Himal Power Partner Ltd tumbled 4.07% followed by Barun Hydropower Co. Ltd, which suffered a 3.93% decline. Bishal Bazar Company Ltd, Sarathi Nepal Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Saptakoshi Development Bank Ltd fell around 3% on the day. Other major laggards of Thursday include Civil Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, Ridi Hydropower Development Company Ltd and Karnali Development Bank Ltd.
On the technical front, the index formed a small bullish candlestick with the market continuing to consolidate along the 3,000 line. Momentum favors bulls in the current juncture. However, with the index yet to see any major moves from the 3,000 mark, a lack of clarity still persists in the market. A further rise supported by increased volumes might see the index make a fresh high.
This column is produced by ARKS Capital Advisors Ltd.
(Views expressed in the article are those of the producer and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication)