KARACHI: The stock market opened on a slightly positive note on Wednesday, but soon after selling pressure built on blue chip stocks that led to the second successive finish in the red.
The KSE-100 Index continued to decline throughout the day, dipping 308 points in intra-day trading. Things got worsened when an International Monetary Fund’s report highlighted that risks to Pakistan’s economic and financial outlook had increased.
It also stated that the country’s medium-term debt repayment capacity had weakened and Islamabad should take immediate corrective measures.
This news, along with a lack of positive triggers and prevailing political uncertainty, pushed investors to book profit and stay on the sidelines.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 263.92 points or 0.60% to settle at 43,441.18.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the KSE-100 Index opened positive, but remained under pressure throughout the day, hitting an intra-day low of 289 points to close at 43,441, down 264 points.
“Market participation remained restricted to 142 million shares compared to 177 million in the previous trading day due to a lack of triggers and political instability,” said Mulla.
Major contribution to the total market volume came from Matco Foods (+4.57%), Pakistan International Airlines (+4.51%) and Unity Foods (-3.66%) accounting for trading in 28 million shares out of the total 142 million on the All-share Index.
Major laggards were Habib Bank (-1.34%), Lucky Cement (-1.54%), Engro (-1.26%), Maple Leaf Cement (-4.15%) and Kapco (-0.11%) which contributed 111 points to the index.
Selling pressure was witnessed in the cement sector as heavyweights such as DG Khan Cement (-0.92%), Lucky Cement (-1.54%), Fauji Cement (-3.25%) and Pioneer Cement (-2.51%) closed in the red zone.
The exploration and production sector lost value where Pakistan Petroleum (-0.58%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.01%) were major losers of the sector.
The banking sector mostly closed in the red as heavyweights such as Habib Bank (-1.34%), National Bank (-1.05%) and MCB Bank (-0.14%) closed in the negative zone.
“Moving forward, we expect the market to depict a similar trend and recommend investors to see any upside as an opportunity to sell,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 142 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 178 million.
Shares of 365 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 103 stocks closed higher, 240 declined while 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.9 billion.
Matco Foods was the volume leader with 12.8 million shares, gaining Rs1.38 to close at Rs31.60. It was followed by PIAC with 9.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.24 to close at Rs5.56 and Unity Foods with 6.3 million shares, losing Rs1.01 to close at Rs26.57.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs200.5 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.