KARACHI: Pakistan equities managed to achieve a positive close after a volatile session as losses in financial stocks pulled the benchmark KSE 100-share index down 0.7% to 36,433 points in intraday trade.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark 100-share index edged up 0.08% or 29.85 points to end at 36,723.35.
Elixir Securities, in its report, said financial stocks opened gap down as the central bank’s decision over the weekend of 25-basis-point cut in the policy rate negatively impacted the sector’s already depressed margins and increased the reinvestment risk for the upcoming major Pakistan Investment Bond maturities in the third quarter.
“Consequently, the whole sector came under pressure with index-heavy MCB Bank (-4.6%), Habib Bank Limited (-2.4%) and United Bank Limited (-2.3%) trading near their lower price limits and cumulatively contributing 213 negative points to the benchmark index.
Meanwhile, fertiliser plays inched upwards on news of proposed removal of GST and gas infrastructure development cess on fertiliser products. Engro Fertilizers (+2%), Fauji Fertilizer Company (+1.7%), Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim (+1.9%) and Fatima Fertilizer (+1.7%) were among those that gained.
Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said bears dominated the banking sector as the SBP reduced the policy rate by 25 basis points.
“Pakistan Petroleum Limited (+0.28%) continued its upward trajectory on the back of news that the E&P company got the lease of Sui field for another 10 years as well as on the back of hydrocarbon discovery from exploratory well Kotri X-1 in Kotri block on Friday.”
Correction continued in the stocks expected to be part of the MSCI Emerging Market Index, though Hubco, Engro and FFC gained to close in the green zone.
Trade volumes fell to 266 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 395 million.
Shares of 366 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 183 stocks closed higher, 162 declined while 21 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.7 billion.
K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 49.9 million shares gaining Rs0.23 to finish at Rs7.93. It was followed by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines with 19.7 million shares gaining Rs1.41 to close at Rs37.72 and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 17.6 million shares losing Rs0.31 to close at Rs23.19.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs468 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.