Market watch: Falling oil prices lead to bearish close

Benchmark KSE-100 index edges down 7.15 points

Our Correspondent April 18, 2016

KARACHI: Pakistan equities closed another session almost flat on Monday after trading range bound in a band of 200 points.

At close, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a drop of 0.02% or 7.15 points to end at 33,759.97.

Elixir Securities, in its report, said activity in the broader market remained lacklustre as political noise over the Panama scandal and its poor handling by the ruling PML-N kept investors nervous.

The stocks had a lower start with index-heavy oil shares leading the decline as participants tracked a sharp drop in global crude after a recent meeting between oil producers over output freeze hit a dead end, it added.

“Oil and Gas Development Company (-1.2%), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (-1.1%) and Pakistan Oilfields (-1.8%) opened gap down, traded in the red throughout the session and cumulatively contributed nearly 40 points to the day’s losses.”

Meanwhile, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (+5%) recorded heavy trading and closed at its upper price limit after the oil and gas regulator approved a tariff increase for handling the LNG business, said Elixir Securities’ analyst Ali Raza.

JS Global analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan said the market closed on a flattish note as retreat of international oil prices, after the failure of global producers to agree on a production floor, led local exploration and production (E&P) companies down.

“The banking sector gained led by HBL, which became the first South Asian bank to get permission to set up a branch in China’s city of Urumqi, which borders Pakistan along the traditional Silk Route.”

“Fauji Cement Company (-1.29%) saw profit-taking after announcing earnings per share of Rs3.14 for nine months, which was in line with market expectation.”

The refining sector continued to outperform led by Attock Refinery Limited (+5%) as the company was the first unit to complete isomerisation of its plant which should help it to produce more motor gasoline that is a high margin product, added Khan.

Trade volumes fell to 156 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 193 million shares.

Shares of 349 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 150 stocks closed higher, 181 declined while 18 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.3 billion.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines was the volume leader with 12.3 million shares, gaining Rs1.37 to finish at Rs28.77. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 9.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.36 to close at Rs34.13 and Pak International Bulk Terminal with 9.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.50 to close at Rs28.06.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs128 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th,  2016.

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