KATHMANDU, April 1: Stocks witnessed a surge in the beginning trading hour as the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index almost hit 1,150 points mark in the morning. However, stocks pared most of its earlier gains to trade marginally in the red in the latter trading hours. The benchmark index ended choppy trading almost unchanged with a loss of 0.91 points at 1,143.59 points.
The local exchange extended its range bound trading as Nepse failed to post any significant moves to either side. Similarly, stocks have been witnessing low volatility in the sessions of late, suggesting the possibility of further flat movement.
Lack of any major news has also been contributing to the marginal movements of the equity index since the past few weeks. Volume remained on the lower side of the spectrum with turnover of only Rs 266 million.
Most of the major sectors posted losses. Only Manufacturing & Processing, 'Others' and Banking sub-indices registered gains in the week. Among losing segments, Life Insurance and Non-Life Insurance stocks suffered with losses of 0.89 percent and 0.83 percent in the respective sub-indices. Microfinance, Finance and Hydropower sub-indices also witnessed modest losses in the session. Sub-indices of Hotels and Development Banks followed suit.
Among actives, Bank of Kathmandu Ltd's shares witnessed the highest turnover of over Rs 21 million. Another commercial bank's scrip followed as Prabhu Bank Ltd witnessed transactions of over Rs 15 million. Shivam Cements Ltd, meanwhile, logged in a total turnover of over Rs 10 million. Citizen Investment Trust Ltd, NIC Asia Bank Ltd and Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Ltd's shares were also actively traded with turnovers of over Rs 9 million each.
Arun Kabeli Power Ltd turned in the best performance of the day. The hydropower company saw its share price climb 4.55 percent. Next, Multipurpose Finance Company Ltd and City Express Finance Co Ltd logged in gains of 4.32 percent and 3.13 percent, respectively. Synergy Power Development Ltd, Bhargav Bikash Bank Ltd and Khanikhola Hydropower Company Ltd were among top advances.
In contrast, shares of Universal Power Company Ltd continued to tumble. Its price hit the lower circuit of negative 10 percent in the session. Shares of Radhi Bidyut Company Ltd, likewise, tanked 5.61 percent. Besides, Mirmire Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, Ridi Hydropower Development Company Ltd and Civil Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd witnessed losses of over 3 percent apiece.
On the corporate front, Shivam Cements Ltd has announced its Annual General Meeting on May 22. Distribution of 15.79 percent cash dividend is its key agenda among others. The manufacturing company will also be appointing one member in Board of Directors (BOD) from public shareholders group.
As per the ARKS technical analysis, the market formed a spinning top candlestick on the daily timeframe suggesting lack of direction. Technical indicators also reaffirm neutral sentiment in the market. Hence, more sideways movement is likely unless a significant breakout above 1,160 points mark is observed. On the downside, a breach of support at 1,130 points mark might see the index falter further.
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)