Market watch: KSE-100 slips as turnover hits second lowest level for 2018

Benchmark index decreases 0.12% to finish at 43,572.67

Our Correspondent February 19, 2018

KARACHI: The stock market recorded its second lowest turnover for 2018 as only $30 million worth of shares were traded on Monday.

The most evident cause of lacklustre trading was the uncertainty surrounding Pakistan's placement on the global terror watch list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on US allegation of money laundering, which Pakistan vehemently denies.

Most heavyweight sectors closed in the red with pharmaceutical companies being the only exception.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 54.43 points or 0.12% to settle at 43,572.67.

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Elixir Securities' analyst Jawwad Abubakr said Pakistan equities closed slightly lower in listless trading as most investors stuck to the sidelines.

Turnover for the day was the second lowest in 2018 as only $30 million worth of shares exchanged hands on the benchmark KSE-100 Index. Pressure from possible inclusion of Pakistan in the global terrorist watch list by the FATF kept overall sentiments subdued.

Barring pharmaceutical and oil marketing companies, all key sectors traded lower with Pakistan Petroleum (-0.9%) denting the KSE-100 Index the most.

Earnings announced by Amreli Steels (+2.7%) and Hub Power (+0.74%) came in line with estimates while results of Fauji Cement (-3.2%) and United Bank (-0.6%) were lower than expectations.

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"Going forward, we see lacklustre activity to continue with FATF verdict being the major sentiment driver this week," the analyst said.

Shares of 370 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 140 stocks closed higher, 205 declined while 25 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.12 billion.

Fauji Foods was the volume leader with 9.8 million shares, gaining Rs1.30 to close at Rs27.44. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 7.49 million shares, losing Rs1.07 to close at Rs35.37 and Matco Foods with 6.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.85 to close at Rs27.50.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs253.9 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.


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