KARACHI: The stock market witnessed its lowest trading activity in almost three years on Monday as most investors remained on the side-lines owing to the ongoing proceedings in the Panama case against the ruling family.
Trading activity thinned to the lowest since August 22, 2014, when calls for the incumbent PM’s resignation were first sounded by the opposition amid alleged election rigging.
The KSE-100 Index, however, closed positive led by oil and banking stocks.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index finished with an increase of 0.42%, or 185.77 points, to end at 44,523.21.
Elixir Securities, in its report, stated Pakistan equities closed in the green after a choppy and range-bound trading session as most participants remained glued to their TV screens during the day to watch Supreme Court proceedings on the case against PM and his family.
“Lack of clarity on political front mainly contributed to the lacklustre session as Sharif family filed objection against the final report of the joint investigation team (JIT) terming it biased and going beyond mandate and pleading the Supreme Court to annul it,” stated Elixir.
Lack of flows from both local and foreign institutional investors in Index names resulted in most stocks struggling for direction and trading in narrow range.
“With the Court hearing again resuming tomorrow, we will continue to see thin trading with most investors keeping a close watch on proceedings and refraining from participating aggressively despite enticing valuations,” the report added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla reiterated that the market witnessed a lacklustre session on political noise.
The benchmark index moved between an intraday high of +293 to a low of -362 points to finally close at a level of 44,523, 186 points above the last trading session.
“E&P sector stocks gained points due to an increase in oil prices as a slowdown in the growth of rigs drilling in the United States eased concerns of surging shale supplies,” said Mulla.
OGDC (+1.40%) and POL (+0.88%) were among the gainers of the aforementioned sector.
Cement sector stocks witnessed an upside potentially due to the news of government initiative towards increasing access to affordable housing finance in the country. DGKC (+0.37%), LUCK (+1.53%) and KOHC (+0.20%) from the cement sector cumulatively contributed +33 points to the KSE-100 index.
“We recommend investors stay cautious and hold positions unless there is clarity on SC decision regarding the prevailing political case,” the analyst added.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 75 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 112 million.
Shares of 355 companies were traded. At the end of the day, value of 177 stocks closed higher, 161 declined while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.1 billion.
K-Electric was the volume leader with 5.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs6.61. It was followed by Engro Polymer with 4.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.44 to close at Rs33.97 and Dewan Motors with 4.3 million shares, gaining Rs1.75 to close at Rs37.86.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs348 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2017.