KARACHI: Heavy selling by foreign investors meant the benchmark-100 index remained under pressure to end negative for the fourth successive session - this time registering a notable drop of over 100 points.
Although lower, the three previous days saw the index close relatively little unchanged, but Wednesday’s foreign selling and pressure on select stocks meant investors remained bearish.
While the oil and gas sector continued to rally, at close on Wednesday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark KSE-100 Index recorded a drop of 0.33% or 109.78 points to end at 33,619.84.
Elixir Secuirities analyst Ali Raza said Pakistan equities closed negative in a volatile trading session with benchmark KSE-100 index settling near its intra-day low of 33,600.
“Stocks opened sideways and skidded lower in lacklustre trade as participants; primarily institutional investors remained selective and traded cautiously ahead of Imran Khan-led PTI’s planned protests over the weekend,” Raza said.
“Cements dented benchmark-index the most as it contributed nearly 60% negative points to the KSE-100 index.
“Lucky Cement (LUCK -2.1%) and Dera Ghazi Khan Cement (DGKC -2.2%) both closed in red while Cherat Cement (CHCC -2.8%) was also down after the company announced earnings that were below street-consensus,” Raza added.
“Despite most sectors settling lower, E&Ps managed to stay in green as mid-day recovery in global crude fetched interest in the sector.
“On the other hand, small and mid-cap plays continued to dominate volumes chart as retail investors hunt day-trade opportunities.”
Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan said positivity was witnessed in the refineries on the back of strong margins.
“National Refinery Limited (NRL +4.36%) gained, while Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGP +3.52%) rallied after announcing its 3Q16 result, posting an earnings per share (EPS) of Rs0.002 vs EPS of -2.90 in the same period last year,” said Khan.
“Engro Foods (EFOODS -1.12%) remained under pressure on back of news that the FBR wants to end the zero-rated regime for the dairy sector,” Khan added.
Trade volumes rose to 263 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 241 million shares.
Shares of 376 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 162 stocks closed higher, 188 declined while 26 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.4 billion.
Sui North Gas was the volume leader with 27.3 million shares, gaining Rs1.06 to finish at Rs31.17. It was followed by Power Cement with 20.6 million shares, losing Rs0.08 to close at Rs10.57 and TRG Pakistan with 17.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs35.49.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs1.012 billion during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2016.
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