KARACHI: The country’s largest stock exchange witnessed subdued activity in the first trading session of the week, as deteriorating security and the law and order in Karachi took a toll on investor optimism.
The stock market lost some ground amid profit-taking in oil exploration and production company stocks due to a decline in international crude oil prices, said Topline Securities’ equity dealer Samar Iqbal.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index shed 0.32% or 58.42 points to end at the 18,126.77 points level.
Amidst worsening law and order in the city, investors took a backseat as trade volumes plunged to 194 million shares compared with Friday’s nine-month record tally of 399 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.79 billion.
Shares of 355 companies were traded on Monday. At the end of the day, 128 stocks closed higher, 174 declined, while 53 remained unchanged.
“An end to earnings announcements, along with lower inflation numbers for February 2013, took away all hopes for any rise in monetary rates in the next policy, keeping financials under pressure,” reported Haris Ahmed Batla from Elixir Securities.
“Pakistan Petroleum witnessed selling from Islamic funds ahead of potential non-compliance with Shariah rules, as their interest income exceeds 5% of the total revenue requirement. Moreover, MCB’s stock price declined by Rs5.67 to Rs225.03, which ate away 38 points from the Index,” reported JS Global’s Khalil Usmani.
Lotte Pakistan PTA was the volume leader with 30.13 million shares, gaining Rs0.45 to finish at Rs7.69. According to Samar, the company was in the limelight over unconfirmed news that it might be able to secure some relaxation in duties on it is imports. Senior representatives of its Korean mother company are currently in the country, negotiating with senior politicians and businesspersons, according to news reports.
The top three volume leaders were rounded off by Fauji Cement with 17.24 million shares, losing Rs0.14 to close at Rs8.40; and Pakistan International Airlines with 15.00 million shares losing Rs0.32 to close at Rs6.77.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs348.00 million and sellers of Rs140.21 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2013.
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