KARACHI: Activity was restricted to select stocks as investors tracked results announcements with the benchmark-100 index unable to find a clear direction and trading within a narrow band.
While volume of shares was driven up, the value remained on the lower side with investors seemingly more interested in small tier stocks. Earnings ignited some interest in value plays, but the long weekend kept most investors on the sideline.
At close on Thursday, which was also the last trading session of the week, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark-100 index remained relatively unchanged, rising a marginal 0.005% or 1.58 points to end at 33,945.32.
JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said volatility persisted with banks attracting attention. “Bank Alfalah Limited (BAFL) spiked up 2.38% after the bank’s 9M2015 earnings of Rs3.79 per share beat street estimates. Allied Bank Limited (ABL +2.01%) also announced its 9M2015 result, posting 3% year-on-year higher profit after tax of Rs11.86 billion, with earnings of Rs10.36 per share, in line with market estimates.
“In the telecom sector, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) continued its downward journey, announcing unconsolidated 9M2015 earnings of Rs1.56 per share. Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile in the upcoming roll-over week.”
Elixir Securities, in its report, said equities closed flat ahead of the long weekend as benchmark KSE-100 index traded in a narrow band of 110 points. “Activity in the broader market remained dull with only $51 million worth of shares exchanging hands on KSE-100. Most interest was seen in small and mid-cap plays on retail driven speculative activity, while some interest in select stocks was witnessed owing to earnings excitement.
“Moreover, oil marketing player Shell Pakistan (SHEL -4.88%) closed near its lower price limit after announcing sub-par earnings. Despite lacklustre activity in the broader market, autos and pharmaceutical sectors closed higher likely driven by earnings and pay-out excitement.
“With benchmark KSE-100 index finding strong support near 34k and volumes having regained their earlier vivacity, we expect market to edge up next week as smart money flows in to take advantage.”
Trade volumes rose to 202 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 139 million shares.
Shares of 383 companies were traded on Thursday. At the end of the day, 214 stocks closed higher, 145 declined while 24 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.8 billion.
Pace (Pak) Limited was the volume leader with 19.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.28 to finish at Rs7.35. It was followed by K-Electric with 13.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.18 to close at Rs7.31 and Japan Power with 13.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.79 to close at Rs5.94.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs315 million during the trade session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.
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