KATHMANDU: Local stocks saw choppy trading in most of the trading hours on Tuesday. The benchmark Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index remained unchanged in the first half of the trading session. Following a small advance in the closing hours, the benchmark index closed the day with a gain of 2.40 points at 1,134 points.
The stock market, which saw marginal declines in the opening trading days of the week, saw slight strength on Tuesday. However, with the index continuing to make modest moves, lack of conviction remains visible among investors. The index has stretched its consolidation period further. As pressure from both buyers and sellers was minor in the day, turnover stayed in the lower side of the spectrum. Rs 165 million worth of shares were exchanged.
Sectors ended mixed contributing to the index's minuscule movement. Banking stocks led the gains as its sub-index rose 0.43%. Manufacturing & Processing and Life Insurance sub-indices registered gains of around 0.4% each. Hydropower, Development Bank and Microfinance sectors also edged higher. On the other hand, 'Others' sub-index dropped 0.54% followed by Hotels and Non-Life Insurance sub-indices which lost around 0.4% each. Mutual Fund and Finance sub-indices also witnessed meager losses.
Among actives, shares of Nabil Bank Ltd witnessed the highest turnover of over Rs 13 million. Other commercial bank scrips followed suit with Prabhu Bank Ltd, NIC Asia Bank Ltd and Everest Bank Ltd registering transactions of Rs 10 million, Rs 9 million and Rs 8 million, respectively. Nepal Credit and Commerce Bank Ltd, Nepal Investment Bank Ltd and Prime Commercial Bank Ltd were also actively traded.
Laxmi Equity Fund units led the advances. Its price rallied 5.30%. Himalayan Distillery Ltd's shares, similarly, rose 4%. Furthermore, Nepal Insurance Co Ltd, Surya Life Insurance Company Ltd and Siddhartha Insurance Ltd gained 3.5%, 3.46% and 2.94%, respectively.
In contrast, Everest Bank Ltd Convertible Preference shares dropped 5%. Shares of Reliance Finance Ltd, Sagarmatha Insurance Co Ltd, Asha Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Mahila Sahayatra Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd also struggled and shed around 4% apiece. Excel Development Bank Ltd, Sanima Equity Fund and Prudential Insurance Co Ltd were among other top losing securities.
On the news, NMB Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd will be floating 150% right shares to its shareholders from November 10. The micro sector lender published its first quarterly financials on Monday reporting a net profit of over Rs 15 million and per share earnings of Rs 37.74.
ARKS technical analysis indicates the market forming a small bullish candlestick on the daily timeframe erasing previous day losses. The index, consequently, has continued to trade range bound with low volumes in the sessions of late. Technical indicators also suggest lack of notable momentum. Hence, the equity index is likely to waver in the current range in the upcoming sessions.
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)