KATHMANDU, July 31: Stocks turned flat in another choppy session on Monday as the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index continued to show a lack of direction. Consequently, the market has confined between a narrow range of 1,190 to 1,200 points for a sixth straight session. The index which had climbed 4 points mid-day pared all its gains to close flat at 1,194.28points, losing 0.44 points.
In terms of overall market activity, the bourse saw daily turnover go up by 60.16 percent to almost Rs 30 million. However, the total volume still remained below par, indicating a largely shabby momentum in the market.
Sector-wise indices also showed modest moves to either sides. Among the gaining sectors, strength was visible among Finance stocks as its sub-index rose 0.69 percent. Similarly, sub-indices of Manufacturing & Processing, Banking and Development Banks eked out marginal gains. On the other hand, Hotels sub-index posted the highest decline of 0.55 percent on the day. Life Insurance and Others sub-indices also shed over 0.3 percent each.
Among active stocks, shares of Machhapuchhre Bank Ltd registered a total turnover of over Rs 63 million. Second on the list was Nepal Credit & Commerce Bank Ltd which logged total transaction of Rs 31 million. The bank is closing its shareholders book on Tuesday for 50 percent rights issue. Further, Jalabidyut Lagani Tatha Bikas Co Ltd's shares also remained active on the day. The company has proposed 100 percent right shares to its shareholders as per the application made registered at Nepse on Monday. NMB Bank Ltd and Nepal Bank Ltd followed suit with turnovers of Rs 10 million and Rs 7 million, respectively.
In terms of advances, scrips of Nepal Seva Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd was the biggest gainer with a surge of 5.83 percent. Similarly, Tinau Development Bank Ltd and Jebils Finance Ltd added over 5 percent each on their share prices. Janaki Finance Ltd also climbed almost 5 percent after reporting a 29.44 percent net profit growth in its financial report for the fourth quarter. Share prices of Miteri Development Bank Ltd and Ridi Hydropower Company Ltd also closed over 4 percent higher each.
In contrast, City Express Finance Ltd was the worst performer of the day as its stock price plunged 9.53 percent. Shares of World Merchant Banking and Finance Ltd dropped by 6.70 percent after the company presented a negative reserve of Rs 236 million in financial report for the fourth quarter for Fiscal Year 2017/18 made public on Monday. Meanwhile, share prices of Jalabidyut Lagani Tatha Bikas Co Ltd and Rairang Hydropower Development Company fell by over 3 percent each.
Among other companies publishing their financial report, Hathway Finance Company Ltd has reported a 287 percent rise in its net profit to over Rs 56 million year-on-year.
ARKS technical analysis model indicates the market continuing consolidation as the trading range has narrowed further. Technical indicators also indicate lack of any major catalyst in the market. The breakout after this consolidation can point out a possible course for the market in the short term.