Market watch: KSE-100 builds on gains as volumes hit one-year low

Benchmark index rises 288 points after significant losses last week

Our Correspondent March 20, 2017

KARACHI: The KSE 100-share Index built on its gains on Monday after a four-day losing streak ended on Friday last week.

Previously, the interest in index-heavy stocks had deepened as investors cheered World Bank's loan of $450 million for Pakistan.

At close on Monday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange's benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a rise of 288.30 points or 0.60% to finish at 48,697.65.

According to Elixir Securities' analyst Ali Raza, worries over domestic politics and silence over progress on a leverage product kept investors cautious and selective and the benchmark index resultantly recorded the lowest activity in almost a year.

"Volumes were mostly concentrated in small and mid-cap plays where K-Electric (-1.4%) dominated the volumes chart, but ended in the red as culmination of recent M&A deal with Shanghai Electric Power remained shrouded in mystery," he said.

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"On the leaders board, index-heavy Hub Power (+1.7%) contributed the most to the day's gains followed by Searle Pakistan (+3%) and Mari Petroleum (+3.7%), while Pakistan Oilfields (-1.8%) contributed the most to the losses, likely tracking the dip in global crude," he added.

Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said the market showed positive signs with expectation of following the current trajectory in coming days.

"Top volume leaders were K-Electric (-1.42%), The Bank of Punjab (+0.99%) and Aisha Steel Mills (+4.71%). Pakistan Oilfields (-1.79%) closed in the red as international oil prices struggled near the lowest level since the end of November on rising US shale production."

A rally was witnessed in the banking sector where big banks tossed the index into the green territory. Habib Bank Limited (+1.75%), National Bank of Pakistan (+1.23%) and MCB Bank (+0.95%) were top movers of the sector.

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"Moving forward, we expect positivity to continue following the current trajectory," he added.

Overall, trading volumes fell to 134.7 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 212 million.

Shares of 391 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 233 stocks closed higher, 146 declined while 12 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.1 billion.

K-Electric was the volume leader with 12.3 million shares, losing Rs0.13 to close at Rs9.03. It was followed by Aisha Steel Mills with 10.3 million shares, gaining Rs1.05 to close at Rs23.36 and The Bank of Punjab with 9.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs16.27.

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Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs39 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.


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