KARACHI: The stock market remained jittery following the conviction of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the contempt of court proceedings against the premier. Investors rushed to book profits at inflated levels, fearing political uncertainty after the announcement of the verdict. On the other hand, reports of the presidential signing of the capital gains tax ordinance further confused investor sentiment.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index slipped 1.07% or 151.65 points to end at the 14,066.09 point level.
“Despite materialisation of long-awaited infrastructural changes, the stock market continued to stay in a no man’s land, as political uncertainty went through the roof after the judiciary’s verdict. This continued to disallow aggressive activity,” reported Hasnain Asghar Ali, SVP Equity Sales at Invisor Securities. “The judicial decision and its repercussions have given birth to various interpretations; keeping the market participants in a limbo.”
Trade volumes fell to 270.53 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 306.80 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.58 billion.
“Cement stocks, especially DG Khan Cement and Lucky Cement, saw huge profit taking by investors. Jahangir Siddiqui Company, after lower-than-expected profits, also closed at [its] lower limit with good volumes,” added Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities.
Shares of 373 companies were traded on Thursday. At the end of the day 98 stocks closed higher, 208 declined while 67 remained unchanged.
Jahangir Siddiqui Company was the volume leader with 37.99 million shares losing Rs1.00 to finish at Rs16.92. It was followed by IGI Investment Bank with 17.11 million shares losing Rs0.31 to close at Rs3.24 and Pakistan Telecommunication Company with 17.08 million shares losing Rs0.66 to close at Rs12.71.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were buyers of Rs638.69 million and sellers of Rs474 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited. FII’s were rumoured buyers in energy and banking stocks, while locals were rumoured sellers in holding companies and cement stocks, reported Murtaza Jaffar, analyst at JS Global.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2012.
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