KARACHI: The KSE-100 Index ended negative for the fourth successive session amid low volumes as participation remained thin over worrying economic indicators.
US President Donald Trump’s announcement of imposing duties on steel imports affected stocks in the steel sector, while worries over Pakistan’s weakening economic position meant investors opted to stay on the sidelines.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 61.48 points or 0.14% to settle at 43,011.26.
According to Arif Habib Ltd Sales, trading started on a positive note but at a slow pace. News of US imposing tariffs on the import of steel dampened the mood in the sector and the same negativity carried through in blue chip scripts, including banking, cement and fertiliser sectors.
Professional money managers maintained their bearish sentiment with negative outlook for the remainder of March. Most of the positive news appearing in press since last week was short-lived and got discounted. PAEL saw significant volumes at rates close to lower circuit.
Institutional selling is believed to have caused the trades on the expectation of poor results in the third quarter of FY18. ANL also traded in high volume at lower circuit, which is believed to have been caused by the NAB investigation.
Sectors contributing to the decline included oil and gas marketing companies, (-36pts), commercial banks (-30pts) and technology (-15pts). Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes include ANL, PAEL, UNITY, LOTCHEM and BOP reflecting 47% of total volumes.
Scripts that contributed positively include PPL (+30pts), OGDC (+21pts), POL (+21pts), HBL (+18pts) and COLG (+14pts). Stocks that contributed negatively include MCB (-28pts), DGKC (-19pts), PSO (-15pts), TRG (-12pts) and DAWH (-12pts).
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 139 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 163 million.
Shares of 360 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 92 stocks closed higher, 241 declined while 27 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.04 billion.
Azgard Nine was the volume leader with 23.3 million shares, losing Rs1.00 to close at Rs14.96. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 17.6 million shares, losing Rs1.39 to close at Rs43.82 and Unity Foods with 11.5 million shares, gaining Rs1.19 to close at Rs28.50.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs197.8 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.