Market watch: Foreigners net buyers again as KSE-100 recovers from over 700-point plunge

Benchmark index ends with 0.64% fall to finish at 43,294.95


Our Correspondent February 20, 2018
Pakistan Stock Exchange lounge. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The KSE-100 Index posted a strong recovery after plunging over 700 points in intra-day trading, ending only 278 lower from Monday’s closing as foreign buying continued.

Foreigners were net buyers of $2.3 million worth of shares on Tuesday, a similar number from the day before, even as the KSE-100 remained volatile amid Pakistan’s possible inclusion in the global terror-financing watch list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

With investors keenly awaiting the outcome of the meeting in Paris, the KSE-100 witnessed heavy selling pressure at the start of trading, hitting an intra-day low of 42,865 points, a retreat of 1.6%.

However, a substantial recovery by day’s end meant the index finished with a decrease of 277.72 points or 0.64% to settle at 43,294.95.

“There are concerns over Pakistan’s inclusion in the watchlist by the FATF,” Faisal Jawed, head of sales at IGI Securities, told The Express Tribune. “[However] concerns seem to be overplayed. Pakistan has been on the watchlist before and we continued to see inflows.

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“Additionally, political concerns are peaking ahead of the general elections. The National Accountability Bureau is said to conclude its cases. Investors have all this mind,” he added.

Meanwhile, Elixir Securities’ analyst Ali Raza said equities closed negative after testing nerves and paring losses mid-day to recover from morning declines.

“Early declines were led by Oil & Gas Development Co (OGDC PA -0.2%) as the stock, not being able to meet market expectations of a bigger payout, saw profit-taking reportedly from local institutions; stock churned volumes of over four million shares, most in the last four weeks.

“Apart from OGDC, financials, cements and select index heavyweights contributed to declines with Habib Bank (HBL PA -2.2%), Hub Power (HUBC PA -2.2%), MCB Bank (PA MCB PA -1.2%) doing the most damage.

“National Bank of Pakistan (NBP PA -2.4%) also closed lower despite announcing better earnings, as investors were left disappointed by no payout.

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“Amreli Steels (ASTL PA +2%) came on investors’ radar after the company notified exchange of plan to modernise its existing rolling mill for an estimated cost of Rs2 billion that will increase the capacity from 180,000 to 275,000 MTPA, taking total re-rolling capacity to 700,000 MTPA.

“We expect the market to remain volatile and dull until there is some clarification on the verdict due by FATF,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes rose to 170 million shares compared with Monday's tally of 127 million.

Shares of 367 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 116 stocks closed higher, 234 declined while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.8 billion.

Dewan Cement was the volume leader with 14 million shares, gaining Rs0.99 to close at Rs26.89. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 13.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.92 to close at Rs36.29 and Azgard Nine with 10.9 million shares, losing Rs0.92 to close at Rs19.15.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs254 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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