KARACHI: Stocks ended negative on Thursday as profit-taking dragged the benchmark index into the red zone to settle at the 43,400 level.
The KSE-100 Index opened upwards, but soon after investors resorted to book profits leading the index to plunge 683 points from its intra-day high of 43,824.02 points. Selling was witnessed in index-heavy oil and banking sectors. Despite a brief recovery, the index finished the day on a negative note.
At close on Thursday, the KSE-100 Index ended with a decrease of 235.47 points or 0.54% to finish at 43,395.28.
Elixir Securities’ analyst Zainul Abedin said Pakistan equities closed lower with the benchmark KSE-100 Index finishing near 43,400 level after a blip towards 43,150 intra-day.
“Start to the day was on a positive note, however, institutional profit-taking in key sectors including oils, financials and cements dragged the market lower in the red zone as the day progressed,” Abedin remarked.
Engro Corp (ENGRO PA -1.7%) also contributed to the drag on the back of rumours of an enquiry by NAB against the LNG terminal. Meanwhile, Sui twins; Sui Northern Gas Co (SNGP PA +2.4%) and Sui Southern Gas Co (SSGC PA +4.4%) remained in the limelight as investors continued to build positions on optimism over the third LNG pipeline.
Overall, trading activity remained steady at a healthy level with 163 million shares changing hands on the benchmark KSE-100 Index.
“Stock-wise consolidation will likely continue in near-term with the KSE-100 Index trading in a 500-points range and finding support near 43,000,” the analyst added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said that the KSE-100 Index marginally opened positive but soon succumbed to pressure and closed down to 43,395 level, after making an intraday high of +0.4% and a low of -1.1%.
“Selling pressure was witnessed across the board as investors opted to book profits, while on the other hand things remained heated on the political front,” Mulla commented.
Heavy participation was witnessed in KEL (-3.61%) with more than 18 million share exchanging hands on the back of news that Nepra is unlikely to revise the company’s multi-year tariff upward on the reconsideration request forwarded by the Ministry of Energy (Power Division).
E&P sector closed lower than its previous day close, where POL (-1.26%), OGDC (-0.93%) and PPL (-0.62%) closed slightly below their previous day levels.
Mixed sentiments were witnessed in the cement sector where MLCF (+1.43%) and FCCL (+1.30%) closed in green whereas LUCK (-0.78%) and DGKC (-0.30%) closed in the red zone.
“Moving forward, we expect the market to continue its positive trend, however, prevailing political situation may shake investors’ confidence for the short-term. We advise investors to book profits on the higher side,” he added.
Overall, trading volume decreased to 319 million shares, compared with Wednesday’s tally of 327 million.
Shares of 388 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 153 stocks closed higher, 221 declined while 14 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.7 billion.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 20.6 million shares, losing Rs0.07 to close at Rs2.90. It was followed by Sui South Gas Company with 19.4 million shares, gaining Rs1.50 to close at Rs35.38 and K-Electric with 18.8 million shares, losing Rs0.25 to close at Rs6.67.