KARACHI: The stock market experienced a dull performance on Monday as investors remained on the sidelines due to constant turmoil in politics.
The KSE 100-share Index recorded directionless trading in the early morning hours. Soon after, low volumes led to a decline of almost 450 points in the index in intra-day trading. A lack of positive triggers kept the activity low and the index finished the day in the red.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a fall of 390.37 points or 0.92% to stand at 42,018.90.
According to Elixir Securities, Pakistan equities fell during the dullest day since mid-2015 with the benchmark index shedding nearly 1% while only $38 million worth of shares changed hands on the KSE All-share Index.
“Most people had expected an improvement in turnover with the end of Ashura, however, anxiety over domestic politics and no major triggers kept investors at bay,” stated Elixir.
“Moreover, no major flows from institutions including foreigners and limited retail interest made Monday one of the slowest days in over 30 months.”
CPI inflation that stood lower than consensus was a non-event and so was the weekend monetary policy announcement where the central bank left rates unchanged in line with expectations.
“With former prime minister Nawaz Sharif now due next Monday in court, we don’t see heat on the political front cooling off soon while investors are likely to continue to struggle in search of triggers or buy flows from overseas investors,” the report added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said bears dominated the bourse likely on the back of political uncertainty and as a result the benchmark KSE-100 index lost 390 points to close at 42,019.
The banking sector led the decline as Habib Bank (-2.57%), MCB Bank (-2.58%), United Bank (-1.71%) and National Bank (-0.73%) closed in the negative zone, cumulatively contributing 144 points to the index’s decline.
Moreover, inflation reading for Sept 2017 was released that came in at 3.86%. Selling pressure was noted in the cement sector where Lucky Cement (-2.60%), Cherat Cement (-1.73%), Fauji Cement (-2%) and Power Cement (-1.94%) closed in the red.
“With expectations of continuing volatility, we recommend investors to remain cautious unless economic indicators and prevailing political scenario improve,” Mulla added.
Overall, trading volumes dropped massively to 88 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 172 million.
Shares of 378 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 109 stocks closed higher, 256 declined while 15 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4 billion.
Chakwal Spinning was the volume leader with 5.6 million shares, losing Rs1 to close at Rs11.92. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 5.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.13 to close at Rs37.05 and Nishat (Chunian) with 4.6 million shares, gaining Rs2.72 to close at Rs57.24.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs15 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.