Market watch: Index continues to fall as Panama case uncertainty looms

Benchmark KSE-100 index drops 156.75 points to close at 48,523


Our Correspondent March 28, 2017
Local financial institutions cannot bid for more than 5% stake in PSX as per the laws of the State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and PSX. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The benchmark index fell for the fourth successive session, ending near the 48,500 level as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the Panama case verdict.

At close on Tuesday, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s KSE 100-share Index recorded a fall of 156.75 points or 0.32% to close at 48,523.41.

Elixir Securities, in its daily report, stated Pakistan equities continued their losing streak and closed lower amid a dull trading session.

“Market opened on a dreary note and struggled for direction in early trade, however, lacklustre participation and no serious buyers on screen resulted in the benchmark KSE-100 Index slipping to 48,500,” said analyst Ali Raza.

Market watch: KSE-100 falls just ahead of Panama case verdict

“Retail participation remained lower as concerns on domestic politics due to upcoming Panama verdict in the coming days kept most investors on the sidelines,” he said.

“Two-third of the contribution to day's losses came from five stocks namely Lucky Cements (LUCK PA -1.01%), Searl Pakistan (SEARL PA -2.6%), Pakistan Petroleum (PPL PA -1.36%), Habib Bank (HBL PA -0.5%) and Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC PA -0.85%).

“Highlight of the day was Mari Petroleum (MARI PA +1.8%) that came in the limelight and closed higher after company announced buying additional 5% stake and operatorship in Bannu West Block,” said Raza.

“[We] see range-bound trading to continue in near-term with ongoing futures rollover week and uncertainty on Panama case verdict limiting participation in the wider market. We reiterate taking advantage of ongoing weakness and building positions in MSCI names,” he added.

Volumes rise, KSE-100 up 1.2% as jitters start to fade

JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said the local bourse closed lower on the back of expected Panama case verdict in the coming week.

The index traded between an intra-day high of +5 points and intra-day low of -190 points, closing at 48,523.

“Pakistan Petroleum (-1.36%), Pakistan Oilfields (-1.33%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.85%) in the exploration and production sector remained in the red as oil prices struggled near low levels on rising US shale production,” said Ghous.

Moreover, mixed insight into the cement sector was witnessed where DG Khan Cement (-0.38%) and Maple Leaf Cement (-0.32%) fell following the award of 14 licences by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to various industrial groups for setting up cement factories in the province.

The banking sector was in the red as heavyweights MCB Bank (-0.15%) and Habib Bank (-0.52%) ended lower again, said Ghous.

Market watch: KSE-100 drops slightly as it struggles for direction

“Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile due to the rollover week and recommend investors to remain cautious,” said the analyst.

Overall, trading volumes fell to 218 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 237.97 million.

Shares of 391 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 153 stocks closed higher, 214 declined while 24 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.2 billion.

The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 23.1 million shares, losing Rs0.91 to close at Rs16.70. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 19 million shares, gaining Rs1 to close at Rs12.74 and Aisha Steel with 18.7 million shares, losing Rs1.10 to close at Rs25.68.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs343 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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