Market Watch: Investors bank profits ahead of long weekend

Published: September 21, 2012

Trade volumes were higher at 159 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 131 million shares.

KARACHI: A long weekend and Karachi’s turbulent law and order situation forced investors to play safe and book profits during trading on Thursday, the last working day of the week. Punters offloaded scrips without any particular discrimination, choosing to bank gains made in previous weeks.

“Increased leverage position also forced investors to trim their portfolios,” added Topline Securities equity dealer Samar Iqbal, “while a fall in international oil prices augmented the selling pressure; particularly in oil stocks.”

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index shed 0.87% or 136.02 points to end at the 15,452.64 points level. Trade volumes were higher at 159 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 131 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.30 billion.

“Pakistan stocks closed bearish on security concerns in the city, ahead of anti-film protests on the national holiday tomorrow,” stated Ahsan Mehanti, from Arif Habib Corp. “Activity remained limited due to a lack of triggers post major corporate earnings announcements at the KSE.”

“Major fall in global commodities and stocks on weak economic data from Asia and Europe played a catalyst role in bearish sentiments, amid consolidation in blue-chip stocks,” he added.

Shares of 364 companies were traded on Thursday. At the end of the day 130 stocks closed higher, 193 declined while 41 remained unchanged. Pakistan Telecommunication Company was the volume leader with 16 million shares losing Rs0.85 to finish at Rs19.02. It was followed by Karachi Electric Supply Company with 14.56 million shares losing Rs1.00 to close at Rs6.65 and NIB Bank with 13.618 million shares paring Rs0.01 to close at Rs2.63.

“The oil and gas sector, after leading the rally in the past few sessions, was the worst hit; with Pakistan Oilfields and the Oil and Gas Development Company closing down 1.8% and 1.6% respectively,” reported JS Global analyst Shakir Padela. “In the fertiliser sector, Engro ended the day down 1.9% on rumoured foreign selling in the scrip.”

Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs269.42 million and sellers of Rs263.99 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2012.

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