As investors continue to flock towards the share market, the sole secondary market witnessed highest turnover on record today, while the benchmark index closed at a fresh peak.

Altogether 27.14 million shares of 220 companies were traded today through 136,499 transactions that amounted to a whopping Rs 13.17 billion. The daily turnover was 10.12 per cent higher than the previous record of Rs 11.96 billion set on May 19, when 25.12 million shares of 214 firms had changed hands through 132,369 transactions.

Despite nearing the threshold of 2,850 points in the initial hour, the selling pressure witnessed after noon limited the gain of Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index to 0.11 per cent or 3.07 points to close at 2,823.06 points, which happened to be a new record nonetheless.

The sensitive index, which measures performance of class 'A' stocks, rose 0.26 per cent or 1.31 points to 508.49 points. The float index that gauges the performance of shares actually traded also went up 0.06 per cent or 0.13 point to 194.37 points.

Although majority of the subgroups - eight out of 13 - landed in the red today, the benchmark index was propped up by the investors' increased attraction towards the stocks of non-life insurance companies.

The non-life insurance sub-index rose by the highest today - 1.39 per cent or 196.64 points to 14,366.17 points.

At the other end of the spectrum, finance slumped by 2.2 per cent or 36.42 points to 1,615.52 points.

Share value of 146 traded companies increased today, that of 65 dropped and that of nine was stable.

Barun Hydropower was the top gainer today, with its share price surging by 9.95 per cent to Rs 442. Excel Development Bank was the top loser as its share price fell by 4.47 per cent to Rs 641.

Meanwhile, Hydorelectricity Investment and Development Company Ltd topped the charts in terms of trading volume, number of transaction and turnover, with 2.11 million of its shares traded through 11,496 transactions that amounted to Rs 1.26 billion.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 25, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.