KATHMANDU, Oct 4: Stocks suffered from the very the beginning of Thursday's trading session, shedding almost 10 points in the first trading hour. The benchmark Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index, however, recouped almost all of its initial losses to trade flat at mid-day. Nonetheless, the index came under slight pressure in the remaining session to close 3.23 points lower at 1,227.37 points.
Nepse fell for a second straight day as the sell-off continued ahead of the holiday season. Further, lack of any major news on financial and economic space has kept investors from taking long position in the market. Despite the drop, market activity showed slight improvement in the last trading day of the week with Rs 428 million worth of shares changing hands -- a rise of 14.60 percent compared to Wednesday.
Most of the market sectors closed the week in red. Only sub-indices of Trading, Finance and Life Insurance posted marginal gains. Hotels stocks were the biggest drag on the day as reflected by a drop of 1.43 percent in its sub-index. Microfinance sub-index also fell 0.75 percent. Meanwhile, sub-indices of Development Bank, Manufacturing & Processing, Banking and Non-life Insurance sub-groups edged lower.
NMB Bank Ltd was the most active stock on the day with total turnover of Rs 31 million. Similarly, shares worth Rs 22 million, Rs 17 million and Rs 16 million, respectively, of Machhhapuchhre Bank Ltd, Prabhu Bank Ltd and NIC Asia Bank Ltd were traded on the day. Shares worth over Rs 14 million each of Nepal Bank Ltd and Nepal Life Insurance Co Ltd were also traded on the day. Other companies recording significant turnover on the day include Kumari Bank Ltd, Mega Bank Ltd and Nepal Investment Bank Ltd Promoter Shares.
Nadep Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd led the list of advances for the third straight day as its share price rallied 10 percent. Correspondingly, shares of Progressive Finance Ltd and Samata Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd gained over 4 percent each. Likewise, share price of Central Finance Company Ltd and Manjushree Finance Ltd surged 3.33 percent and 3.05 percent, respectively. Khanikhola Hydropower Company Ltd, Kabeli Bikas Bank Ltd, Mahalaxmi Bikas Bank Ltd and Rastriya Beema Company Ltd Promoter Share also saw their share prices rise by over 2 percent each.
Multipurpose Finance Company Ltd, on the other hand, was the worst performer of the day as its share price tumbled by 9.34 percent. Likewise, Nepal Community Development Bank Ltd and Micro Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd logged drops of over 4 percent each. Further, stocks of RSDC Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, Gurkhas Finance Ltd, Miteri Development Bank Ltd, Siddhartha Insurance Ltd and NMB Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd skidded over 3 percent on the day.
As per the ARKS technical analysis, the index formed a bearish candlestick for a second consecutive session with the marginal drop seen on the day. Following the recent drop in the index, technical indicators like Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) and Relative Strength Index (RSI) also indicate bearish sentiment prevailing in the present context. A bounce back with significant market volume can present a buying opportunity for short-term investors. Nepse's immediate support lies at 1,210 points.