KARACHI: City-wide clashes on Sunday between the police and protestors – who were agitating against a video deemed offensive to Islam – dealt a blow to investor sentiment at the bourse on Monday. Amid lower participation, the majority of scrips closed in the red as Friday’s optimism waned in the face of socio-political upheaval in the country’s commercial hub.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index shed 0.33% or 50.93 points to end at the 15,398.68 points level.
Samar Iqbal, equity dealer from Topline Securities, added that the National Reconciliation Ordinance hearing – scheduled for tomorrow – also kept investors at bay. “Healthy payouts brought investor interest in the Attock group – particularly in Pakistan Oilfields and National Refinery, which closed up Rs6.5 and Rs5.9 respectively – but failed to spur buying in other scrips,” she added.
Trade volumes shrank to 98 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 113 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.66 billion.
“The KSE-100 index, after starting the day positively with the results announcement of the Attock group, ended the day in the negative,” reported JS Global analyst Shakir Padela. “Better-than-expected cash payout from Pakistan Oilfields and Attock Refinery did incite some early buying in the scrips, but both only managed to close up 1.4% and 0.4% respectively.”
Shares of 341 companies were traded on Monday. At the end of the day, 110 stocks closed higher, 171 declined while 60 remained unchanged.
“Market participants chose to book profits as the prime minister’s Supreme Court hearing could lead to another government-judiciary confrontation in the coming days,” continued Padela. “Engro Foods, after coming under considerable selling pressure last week on rumoured foreign selling in the scrip, recovered today and ended the day up 2.9%.”
NIB Bank was the volume leader with 16.44 million shares gaining Rs0.11 to finish at Rs2.52. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 9.87 million shares losing Rs0.26 to close at Rs6.22 and Engro Foods with 8.15 million shares gaining Rs2.02 to close at Rs70.98.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs447.72 million and sellers of Rs419.70 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2012.