KARACHI: The Karachi stock market witnessed a mixed trading session on Tuesday. The bourse closed with clipped gains after an early rally saw investors cash in at higher levels. Profit-taking was witnessed in the cement, banking and oil sectors; while the fertiliser sector dominated bullish activity after reports that an increase in the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess had been rejected.
Furthermore, “[The] market failed to sustain the rally after pressure on [the] Pakistani currency. Investors preferred to book gains at upper level[s] after realising that local currency is posting record lows,” reported Topline Securities equity dealer Samar Iqbal.
“Local institutional investors remained largely inactive ahead of the budget … Banking stocks remained under pressure over conflicting news ahead of the budget regarding the imposition of taxes on banks’ income from investment in government securities,” added JS Global analyst Jawad Khan.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index climbed 0.29% or 40.34 points to end at the 14,071.85 point level. Trade volumes fell to 160.18 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 181 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.84 billion.
“The bourse had to succumb to the technical call, thereby disallowing the high attained during early trade to sustain,” said Invisor Securities SVP Hasnain Asghar Ali. “While market participants await the federal budget … economic and financial grievances, along with fast depleting value of local currency … [have] added to the nervousness.”
“Fauji Fertilizer and Engro closed on higher notes as traders rebuilt offloaded positions,” said Elixir Securities analyst Haris Ahmad Batla. “Mixed sentiments in cements on anticipation of the removal of Federal Excise Duty and budgetary increase in the Public Sector Development Plan moved DG Khan Cement and Lucky Cement in different directions.”
Jahangir Siddiqui Company was the volume leader with 11.59 million shares gaining Rs0.11 to finish at Rs16.25. It was followed by Bankislami Pakistan with 8.84 million shares gaining Rs0.43 to close at Rs12.04 and DG Khan Cement with 8.68 million shares losing Rs0.76 to close at Rs43.14.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs457.89 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2012.