KARACHI: The KSE-100 Index started the week in the red, ending 294 points lower amid lack of positive triggers and profit-booking on Monday.
Trading began on a positive note with the KSE-100 rising to an intra-day high of 43,900, but lack of interest on the part of institutional investors and profit-booking in index-heavy cement and banking sectors dragged stocks into the red. The index dropped 439 points in intra-day trading before retail investors helped arrest the slide.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a drop of 293.72 points or 0.67% to finish at 43,515.08 points.
According to Elixir Securities' analyst Jawwad Abubakr, equities closed negative in lacklustre trading with the benchmark KSE-100 Index seeing an exchange of only 66 million shares.
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"Market opened sideways and traded in positive territory for a brief period, however, lack of immediate triggers prompted most institutional investors to stay on the sidelines," remarked Abubakr.
Mainboards stocks in particular witnessed dreary activity and skidded lower on dull volumes with index heavy financials taking the lead in declines. Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC PA -0.5%) was an exception as it fetched good institutional interest leading to over 3.6 million shares exchanging hands.
Moreover, volumes chart remained dominated by small cap retail plays to the likes of ANL (-5.3%), TRG (PA +2.1%), (KEL -0.5%) and DFML (PA +5%).
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"MSCI was due to announce quarterly-annual review, which, in Elixir's view, will likely be a non-event for market on Tuesday as we do not expect any additions or deletions from Pakistan constituents due to 50% buffer rule applied on quarterly rebalancing. As such, flows will remain crucial and continue to guide broader market direction," the analyst added.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 215 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 225 million.
Shares of 352 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 124 stocks closed higher, 212 declined while 16 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.9 billion.
Azgard Nine was the volume leader with 34.3 million shares, losing Rs1.00 to close at Rs17.88. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 12.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.82 to close at Rs39.13 and Aisha Steel Mills with 9.7 million shares, losing Rs0.27 to close at Rs21.48.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs986.9 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.