KARACHI: Pakistan equities closed on Monday a highly volatile session marginally positive as investors prepared themselves for the upcoming MSCI review for reclassification of the bourse from a frontier to an emerging market.
The market carried the momentum from Friday and took a plunge soon after the opening bell with the KSE 100-share index dipping by nearly 0.8% intra-day and testing support near 36,600 points.
At close, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark KSE 100-share index recorded a rise of 0.11% or 39.08 points to end at 36,979.96.
Elixir Securities, in its report, said lower volumes resulted in a swift recovery in the benchmark index to fill the gap with value-hunting near lows.
“The market witnessed increased volatility with index names struggling to find a clear direction and trading in wide ranges as anxiety over the MSCI outcome kept investors on the edge,” said Elixir Securities analyst Ali Raza.
Fortunately, he said, a sharp pullback near day’s close on institution-led buying rescued the KSE-100 from the red zone with MCB Bank (+1.8%), United Bank Limited (+1.9%), Habib Bank Limited (+1.1%), Hub Power Company (+0.4%) and Engro Foods (+2.9%) contributing the most to the gains.
“[We expect] volatile trading pattern to continue as investors keenly await the outcome of the dreaded MSCI review,” he added.
JS Global analyst Ahmad Saeed Khan said the major index mover was the oil sector that remained under pressure amid a fall of nearly 3% in global crude oil prices over the weekend as US stockpiles continued to rise. Top laggard of the sector was Oil and Gas Development Company (-1.19%).
“Marginal positivity was witnessed in the food sector that rallied on the back of news that the government had hinted at conceding some ground (in terms of new taxes on the dairy sector) as representatives of Dutch company Friesland Campina met the finance minister over the weekend.” Engro Foods and Shezan International (+1.83%) were top performers of the sector.
Marginal positivity was also witnessed in stocks that were expected to form part of the MSCI Emerging Market Index as MCB Bank and HBL closed in the green zone, he said.
“Moving forward, we expect the market to have a positive correlation with the MSCI reclassification; the decision will predominantly decide the direction of the market over the next couple of days.”
Trade volumes rose to 139 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 109 million.
Shares of 331 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 126 stocks closed higher, 185 declined while 20 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.5 billion.
K-Electric was the volume leader with 36 million shares gaining Rs0.04 to finish at Rs8.01. It was followed by Engro Fertilizers with 9.3 million shares gaining Rs0.40 to close at Rs66.93 and TRG Pakistan with 7.8 million shares gaining Rs0.13 to close at Rs34.42.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs47.4 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2016.