KATHMANDU, Sept 18: Stocks struggled in the initial trading session on Monday as the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index shed more than 8 points in less than an hour. However, the index recouped its initial losses before midday and gyrated around the unchanged line for rest of the session. Eventually, the benchmark closed essentially flat at 1,256.40 points, posting a marginal loss of 0.13 points.
The Nepse index lost some steam on Monday after adding more than 45 points in the past four trading days. Hence, the minor movement came as the recent bullish sentiment was mitigated by profit booking on Monday's trading. A drop in turnover also followed, as only Rs 687 million worth of shares changed hands on Monday – down from Rs. 915 million in the previous day.
Market sub-indices moved toward either side of the spectrum. Among the gainers, significant strength was visible among insurance stocks. Sub-indices of Non-life Insurance and Life Insurance stocks surged 3.48 percent and 2.13 percent, respectively. Trading sub-index advanced 1.52 percent, while Manufacturing & Processing sub-index posted a gain of 1.07 percent. Conversely, Hotels sub-index struggled and closed almost 1 percent lower. Further, Hydropower sub-index also went down by 0.73 percent. Profit booking was also visible among banking stocks with the group's sub-index shedding 0.63 percent on the day.
In terms of stock wise turnovers, Global IME Bank Ltd Promoter Shares led the list of companies recording total turnover of Rs 92 million. Shares of NMB Bank Ltd also remained active on the day as over Rs 62 million worth of its shares changed hands on the day. Next on the list were Prabhu Bank Ltd and Nepal Bank Ltd with turnover of Rs 29 million and Rs 24 million, respectively.
Among the advances, Bhargav Bikas Bank Ltd added to its previous day's rally with a gain of 9.42 percent on Monday. Non-Life Insurance scrips including Premier Insurance Company Ltd and Nepal Insurance Company Ltd advanced over 5 percent each. Correspondingly, shares of Salt Trading Corporation rose 4.70 percent. Further, share price of Tinau Development Bank Ltd went up by around 4.69 percent after the bank declared 12 percent stock dividend to its shareholders on Monday. Siddhartha Insurance Ltd, Rastriya Beema Company Ltd and Bottlers Nepal (Terai) Ltd were among other top gainers.
Shares of Excel Development Bank Ltd suffered the most as its share price plunged 4.29 percent on the day. It was followed by shares of United Modi Hydropower Ltd which saw its share price slip by 3.45 percent. Mirmire Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd also saw its share price tumble by 3.23 percent. Other losing scrips of the day include Kankai Bikas Bank Ltd, Swadeshi Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Ridi Hydropower Development Company Ltd.
On news front, Summit Microfinance Development Bank Ltd has proposed 23.53 percent bonus shares to its shareholders. The decision is subject to approval by the micro finance company's Annual General Meeting (AGM).
ARKS technical analysis indicates the formation of a doji candlestick on Monday, reflecting indecision seen in the day's session. Despite the market snapping its four-day bull run, technical indicators still present bullish sentiment prevailing. The immediate resistance lies around 1,270-point mark, the breach of which may see the index surge further to 1,300 points.
This column is produced by ARKS Capital Advisors Ltd www.arkscapitaladvisors.com
(Views expressed are those of the producer and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication)