KARACHI: After a positive start that saw the benchmark-100 index rise close to 34,100, investors turned dreary as news of a strong earthquake in the northern parts of Pakistan gathered momentum.
Heavy selling on the part of foreign investors pushed down the index further after investors, tracking regional markets, showed interest across various sectors.
Auto stocks gathered pace, closing higher, while oil shares ended lower as international crude prices dropped further.
At close on Monday, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.25% or 84.68 points to end at 33,860.64.
JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said market witnessed a volatile session amid low volumes. “Mixed sentiment was recorded in the banking sector as lending rates for September averaged at 9.18% (-18bps month-on-month), while deposit rates declined by 5bps month-on-month to 3.80%.
In fertiliser sector, Engro Fertilizer (EFERT -0.41%) announced its quarterly financial result of earnings per share (EPS) Rs2.09 and dividend per share (DPS) of Rs1.50.
“In pharmaceutical sector, GLAXO escalated 3.44% after the company announced its quarterly financial result of EPS Rs4.08 against Rs1.26 last year.
“Bearish sentiment was recorded in the oil sector due to declining international oil prices as Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PSO), Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) were down by 1.18%, 1.47% and 0.39%, respectively. Cement sector remained lacklustre due to lack of triggers. Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile due to roll-over week.”
Meanwhile, Elixir Securities, in its report, said lack of conviction among investors was the most pressing reason for lacklustre trading. “Stocks opened positive as participants tracked gains in the region, however, equities struggled to find clear direction and traded listless despite earnings announcements mid-day.
“Further, news of strong earthquake hitting populous Punjab province and part of the northern areas jolted the market. However, lack of volumes meant that the downward slide was limited.”
Trade volumes fell to 147 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 202 million shares.
Shares of 379 companies were traded on Monday. At the end of the day, 152 stocks closed higher, 204 declined while 23 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.2 billion.
Pace (Pak) Limited (PACE) was the volume leader with 14.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.09 to finish at Rs7.44. It was followed by Bank of Punjab (BOP) with 11.6 million shares, losing Rs0.07 to close at Rs9.25 and Pak Elektron (PAEL) with 9.3 million shares, losing Rs0.41 to close at Rs76.15.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs495 million during the trade session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2015.
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