KARACHI: The KSE-100 Index, while continuing its losing streak, fell for the fifth consecutive trading session on Monday as trade stayed thin on concerns over political uncertainty and foreign outflows.
In the morning, the bourse started off the day on a positive note, gaining 224 points, but after that it took a deep dip, losing 158.39 points. The market reflected dull sentiments of investors following the release of federal budget for FY19.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 158.39 points or 0.36% to settle at 44,378.52.
Elixir Securities’ analyst Jawwad Abubakr said equities continued to remain on the losing streak and the benchmark KSE-100 Index settled below 44,400 points, cumulatively dropping 2.6% in five successive sessions.
Market watch: Stocks bleed as KSE-100 loses 450 points
He said the market opened and traded in the positive zone in early trading with the index hitting the day’s high at 44,763 points, up 0.6%, but the gain came with relatively lower volumes that led to a swift decline as selling pressure mounted.
All key sectors closed in the red except for oil stocks (+1.4%) and fertiliser stocks (+0.9%). The former traded strong following gains in international crude oil prices while the latter attracted buyers on anticipation of increase in urea prices in the wake of subsidy removal, short supply and depleting inventories.
Financial stocks (-1.2%), cement stocks (-1.7%) and steel shares (-2.2%) dented the index the most.
On the corporate front, news of Engro Corporation (+1.5%) investing $21.4 million in Siddiqsons Energy for the development of a 330-megawatt coal-fired power generation facility in Thar kept the stock in the limelight.
“We expect a range bound market in the near term with flows from institutions remaining crucial and guiding market direction,” he added.
Market watch: KSE-100 continues to bleed, ends below 45,200
Overall, shares of 372 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 126 stocks closed higher, 224 declined while 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.59 billion.
Trading volumes dropped to 130.5 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 139.7 million.
Unity Foods was the volume leader with 13.5 million shares, gaining Rs1.33 to close at Rs31.77. It was followed by The Bank of Punjab with 7.2 million shares, losing Rs0.31 to close at Rs11.94 and First Dawood Investment Bank with 7.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.59 to close at Rs2.78.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs30 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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