KATHMANDU: Stocks opened lower and remained under pressure till midday on Thursday. Though the market briefly managed to reverse course in the latter hours, it weakened toward the close. The Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) eventually closed the last trading day of the week 3.7 points lower at 1191.07 points.
Consequently, the local bourse witnessed lower market activity with only Rs 290 million worth of shares traded on the day. Most of the sectors closed the day lower. Only Mutual Fund and Non-Life Insurance sub-indices managed to end the day in positive territory with a meager increment. In contrast, Hotels sub-index was down by 1.81%, while Hydropower sub-index weakened by 0.94%. Similarly, Finance and Life Insurance sub-indices also fell 0.33% each. All other sectors ended the day with marginal losses. Nepal Life Insurance Co Ltd led the list of active stocks with over Rs 15 million worth of shares traded. Citizen Bank International Ltd, NIC Asia Bank Ltd and Citizen Investment Trust also logged turnovers of Rs 14 million, Rs 13 million and Rs 10 million, respectively. Similarly, Prabhu Bank Ltd and Shikhar Insurance Co Ltd recorded total transactions of over Rs 8 million each. Among advances, Adhikhola Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd turned in the best performances of the day as the micro lender's share prices rallied by 9.78%. Next on the list was National Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd which saw its share price surged by 5.97%. Share prices of NIC Asia Growth Fund and Dibyashwori Hydropower Ltd rose by over 3% each, while Chhyangdi Hydropower Ltd, Nepal Insurance Ltd, Kalika Power Company Ltd and World Merchant Banking & Finance Ltd added over 2% on each on their respective share prices.
Conversely, Arun Kabeli Power Ltd turned in the worst performance of the day. The hydropower company's share price tanked almost 7%. Karnali Development Bank Ltd also saw its share price fall by 4.54%. Laxmi Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, Ngadi Group Power Ltd and Mahila Sahayatra Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd witnessed losses of 3% each.
In corporate space, Unilever Nepal Ltd has proposed to distribute 770% cash dividend to its shareholders. Similarly, Sunrise Capital Ltd is convening its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 27. The main agenda of the meeting is distribution of 20% cash dividend to its shareholders.
ARKS technical analysis indicates the market forming a small bearish candlestick on the day. The index, which showed signs of stabilization in the preceding session, quickly gave up its gains stretching the fall further, suggesting bears are still in control. Hence, an immediate resistance lies at 1,200-point mark at the present context. The breach of this level might see the benchmark index stretch its upward movement in the short run.