KATHMANDU: Local stocks witnessed choppy trading in the last trading session of the week and wavered along the opening level throughout the day. Thursday’s session, hence, was marked by a relatively low volatility with the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index closing the day with a marginal gain of 0.71 points at 1,137.75 points.
Both buyers and sellers remained dormant on Thursday keeping the broad index on balance throughout the day. Only Rs 183 million worth of scrips changed hands. The market, meanwhile, has continued to trend in the consolidation zone amid absence of any major financial news.
Thursday also marked the last trading day of first quarter of the financial year where the equity market mostly remained under pressure. However, investors will now keep an eye on the first quarter earnings reports of key listed companies which can be expected in the coming month. The financial performance of the companies will likely be key in determining the course of the equity market thereafter. Most of the sectors closed the day higher. Leading the gains were Mutual Fund units. The group’s sub-index rose over 1%. Non-Life Insurance scrips also witnessed strength as the respective sub-index added 0.88%. Finance, Hydropower, Life Insurance and Microfinance stocks also closed in the green. Banking segment also inched higher. Meanwhile, Development Bank stocks suffered and shed 0.65%. ‘Others’ sub-index lost 0.4%. Manufacturing & Processing and Hotels stocks saw modest drops.
Shares of Prabhu Bank Ltd led the list of actives for a second straight day. Rs 20 million worth of the commercial bank’s shares were exchanged on Thursday. Secondly, Mega Bank Ltd Promoter Share saw a total transaction of over Rs 15 million. Sunrise Bank Ltd witnessed a turnover of Rs 11 million, while Agriculture Development Bank Ltd and Nabil Bank Ltd logged in turnovers of over Rs 6 million each.
Sanima Equity Fund and Nabil Equity Fund notched the best performances of the day. Both mutual fund units rallied 8%. Newly-listed Ghodi Ghoda Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd also saw major strength surging 7.52%. NLG Insurance Company Ltd and Best Finance Company Ltd, similarly, rose over 4% each.
Mahuli Samudayik Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, on the other hand, suffered the most and gave up more than 6.25% on its price. The microfinance announced 11.58% cash dividend and 20% stock dividend on Thursday. Shares of Surya Life Insurance Company Ltd and Laxmi Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd also tumbled over 3% apiece. Oriental Hotels Ltd and Universal Power Company Ltd posted losses of 2.5% each.
The index, as per the ARKS technical analysis, formed a doji candlestick on the daily timeframe suggesting indecision among investors. In the week, the index gyrated between gains and losses in alternate days stretching its sideways movement further. Hence, no major trend is visible in the current scenario. Technical indicators also suggest lack of a clear direction. Hence, investors are better off not taking any major position unless the market shows a notable breakout from its current range.
This column is produced by ARKS Capital Advisors Ltd
(Views expressed are those of the producer and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication)