Market watch: Stocks plunge as political uncertainty dents investor sentiment

Benchmark KSE-100 sheds 781.09 points to settle at 40,324.32

Our Correspondent October 30, 2017
Market talk suggests economic and political uncertainty have now been compounded. PHOTO: PPI / FILE

KARACHI: The stock market continued to be on its downward trajectory on Monday as stocks reeled from selling pressure.

Political noise emerged as the biggest stumbling block in the way of stock market’s growth as the country’s top political leadership met in London to decide their future course of action.

Announcement of positive earnings from notable index names failed to trigger any investor interest as stocks opened and traded lower throughout the day.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered a plunge of 781.09 points or 1.90% to finish at 40,324.32.

According to Elixir Securities, Pakistan equities extended losses into the new week with the KSE-100 index dropping to a nine-day low near 40,300, down 781 points or 1.9%.

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“Political noise continued to dent sentiments with investors spooked on rumours of a rift in the ruling PML-N and possible early elections as its top brass including ousted PM Nawaz Sharif and current premier Abbasi met in London to decide on the future course of action,” it said.

Stocks opened and traded lower throughout the day despite a string of decent earnings including those of Hub Power (-3.3%) and Lucky Cement (-5%), the latter hitting the lower price limit on reported institutional selling.

Pakistan Oilfields (+2.1%) was a notable gainer that traded against the market and generated interest both on and off the system as institutions built positions by betting on earnings from higher crude prices.

“We expect weakness in the market to persist amid volatile trading in the near term as positive triggers remain limited while ongoing earnings season is also nearing its end,” the report added.

Overall, trading volumes fell to 98 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 133 million.

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Shares of 373 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 71 stocks closed higher, 283 declined while 19 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.3 billion.

Nishat Chunian was the volume leader with 6.88 million shares, losing Rs2.70 to close at Rs51.46. It was followed by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines with 6.20 million shares, losing Rs4.49 to close at Rs120 and Pak Elektron with 5.34 million shares, losing Rs3.09 to close at Rs61.17.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs631 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.


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