KATHMANDU: Stocks began Thursday’s session on a positive footing and mostly traded in green in the morning when the benchmark Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index gained more than 3 points. But the market lost its foothold by midday and lost 4.67 points to the close the last trading day of the week at 1,112.79 points.
Some hope returned in the market after Nepse snapped its losing spree with an 8-point gain on Wednesday. However, the relief among investors was short lived as the benchmark index went back to its losing form. In the meantime, traded volume also remained dismal as only Rs 243 million worth of securities changed hands on the day.
In terms of sectoral performance, only Life Insurance segment closed the day higher. Its sub-index was up by 0.37%. Trading group, among others, took a major knock as its sub-index tanked 4.28%. Subsequently, Mutual Fund and Manufacturing & Processing sub-indices posted losses of 1.46% and 1.2%, respectively. Sub-indices of Non-life Insurance and Hydropower stocks also suffered and posted declines of 0.71% and 0.63%, respectively. All other sectors saw recorded modest losses.
Himalayan Distillery Ltd was the most actively traded scrip of the day. The beverage manufacturer is closing its shareholder’s book on Friday to convene its annual general meeting (AGM). It has proposed to distribute 50% stock dividend and 50% cash dividend to its shareholders. Commercial banks followed suit as shares of NMB Bank Ltd and Nabil Bank Ltd saw turnovers of Rs 11 million and Rs 10 million, respectively. Other active scrips of the day were Nepal Life Insurance Company Ltd, Sanima Bank Ltd, NIC Asia Bank Ltd and Swarojgar Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd.
Energy stocks saw major strength as reflected by 5% rise in share prices of Mountain Hydro Nepal Ltd and Panchthar Power Company Ltd, respectively. Samudayik Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd closely followed with a 4.14% rise on its share price. Excel Development Bank Ltd, Gurans Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Arun Kabeli Power Ltd posted gains of over 3% each.
Salt Trading Corporation, on the other hand, suffered the most. Its share price tanked 6% on Thursday. Mutual fund units of Global IME Sammunat Scheme-1 also witnessed selling pressure as their prices fell by 5.68%. Janautthan Samudayik Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd and Arun Valley Hydropower Co Ltd also saw their respective share prices fall by 4.24% and 4.08%. Nabil Equity Fund, Nepal Hydro Developers Ltd and NLG Insurance Company Ltd were among other major decliners of the day.
In corporate space, Laxmi Bank Ltd has is organizing its AGM on December 22. Distribution of 10% bonus shares and 5% cash dividend is among the key agendas of the meeting.
ARKS technical analysis indicates the market failing to extend its gains with the formation of a small bearish candlestick. Hence, the market lacks any notable momentum at the current juncture. Technical indicators also suggest sentiment remaining bearish in the secondary market. Immediate support lies at 1,100-point mark. The breach of the support level might indicate downtrend continuation. On the other hand, a volume backed upward movement can indicate a possible recovery.
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)