KARACHI: The KSE-100 succumbed to profit-taking and economic uncertainty despite various positive measures announced in the budget, with the benchmark-100 share index ending almost flat on the opening day of the week.
The market opened on a positive note, climbing close to 300 points as post-budget euphoria landed stocks in the green. However, profit-taking and negative sentiment over no change in the capital gains tax regime dragged the index lower. Auto, cement and bank stocks took the major hit.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 Index finished with a decrease of 53.92 points or 0.12% to settle at 45,488.86.
“Despite key incentives offered in the budget such as phasing out corporate tax, super tax and exemption on tax on bonus issuances, the looming uncertainty over Pakistan’s precarious economic situation kept the market in check,” said Elixir Securities’ analyst Jawwad Abubakr.
“On the corporate front, Atlas Honda (+3.6%) announced investment of $15m for expansion of its motorcycle operations; Amreli Steels (+1.3%) announced commercial operations of the new rolling mill with effect from today (Monday); Kohat Cement (-1.5%) also notified starting of its cement mill having 105tph grinding capacity.
“The market will remain volatile in the upcoming days as investors keenly await materialisation of loans from China and Saudi Arabia as announced by finance minister.”
Shares of 371 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 139 stocks closed higher, 216 declined while 16 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.6 billion.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 85.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.87 to close at Rs12.46. It was followed by Lotte Chemical with 25.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.58 to close at Rs10.98 and Unity Foods Ltd with 8.2 million shares, gaining Rs1.65 to close at Rs33.14.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 249 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 224 million.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs702 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.