KATHMANDU: Nepali equities continued to see strength as the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index kicked off the week's trading on a firmly positive note. Nepse traded flat in the initial trading hour but witnessed a steady surge after mid-day. The rally in the day saw the index close at its intraday high of 1,264.20 points – up significant 31.89 points against the session earlier.
Nepse has, consequently, stretched its winning streak to five straight days accumulating more than 80 points on the run. The benchmark index has also hit its highest closing level since October last year. Investors continue to seem enthused as the market has been showing signs of reversal from the long term downtrend. Active participation was also witnessed in the day as the total turnover crossed Rs 1 billion mark.
Banking stocks continued to lead Nepse's rally as reflected by a 4.1 percent rise in the Banking sub-index. Hotels and Microfinance scrips also witnessed significant strength on the day with the respective sub-indices gaining 1.95 percent and 1.83 percent, respectively. Sub-indices of 'Others' and Development Bank stocks also climbed over 1 percent higher each. Hydropower, Life Insurance and Finance segments also edged higher. Only Manufacturing & Processing and Non-Life Insurance scrips registered marginal losses.
Shares of Nepal Bank Ltd led the list of top turnover scrips ahead of its book closure for its Annual General Meeting. More than Rs 148 million worth of the bank's shares changed hands. Next, NIC Asia Bank Ltd and Nepal Credit and Commercial Bank Ltd registered turnovers of over Rs 44 million and Rs 43 million, respectively. Further, Nepal Investment Bank Ltd, Civil Bank Ltd and Prabhu Bank Ltd saw transactions of Rs 39 million, Rs 38 million, and Rs 36 million, respectively.
Among gainers, shares of Standard Chartered Bank Ltd and Nepal SBI Bank Ltd turned in the best performances of the day. Both commercial banks hit the upper circuit of positive 10 percent. Similarly, Swadeshi Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd jumped 9.86 percent, while Himalayan Bank Ltd saw a gain of 9.02 percent. Arun Kabeli Power Ltd, Nabil Bank Ltd Promoter Share and Everest Bank Ltd were among other top gaining stocks on Sunday.
On the other hand, Best Finance Co Ltd's stocks struggled, registering a loss of 4.17 percent on its price. Nepal Seva Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd's shares also tanked over 4 percent. Mahila Sahayatra Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Nabil Equity Fund, similarly, saw losses of over 3 percent each. Other losing scrips include Nepal Hydro Developers Ltd, Siddhartha Insurance Ltd and Himalayan Distillery Ltd.
On the earnings front, Machhapuchhre bank Ltd reported a 45 percent year-on-year growth in its net profit to Rs 1.24 billion as per its third quarterly financials. Similarly, National Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd saw its earnings increase by over 54 percent year-on-year.
ARKS technical analysis indicates the market forming a bullish marubozu candlestick on the daily timeframe reflecting the day's buying pressure. Technical indicators also indicate persisting momentum in the equity market. After a breach of 1,250 points, the index's next resistance lies at 1,280 points zone where the index's movement will be crucial for suggesting further plausible direction.