Market watch: KSE-100 plunges 844 points as profit-taking sets in

Benchmark index decreases 1.94% to settle at 42,712

Our Correspondent July 31, 2018
Benchmark index decreases 1.94% to settle at 42,712. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The stock market once again turned bearish on Tuesday after advancing rapidly for five consecutive sessions as investors looked for profit-booking that pulled down the KSE-100 index by 844 points.

The bourse opened on a positive note, but the gain proved short-lived with investors taking profit on selective stocks and pushing the index below 43,000 points.

There were news reports that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an interview with CNBC television, warned that the International Monetary Fund’s bailout for Pakistan should not provide funds to pay off Chinese lenders.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 844.20 points or 1.94% to settle at 42,712.43.

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Elixir Securities’ analyst Murtaza Jafar said equities closed deep in the red with the benchmark KSE-100 index plunging more than 800 points to settle below 42,800.

He said the day kicked off positive for a brief period, but bears took over and dominated trading throughout the session.

Initial decline was led by index-heavy exploration and production (E&P) and financial stocks. Cement shares traded sideways until the afternoon, but later they took the brunt of selling. DG Khan Cement (-4.4%) and Cherat Cement (-5%) traded at or near their lower price limits.

On the results front, Lucky Cement announced lower-than-expected earnings whereas Fauji Fertilizer Company (-1.6%) fell after announcing a lower-than-expected payout.

Jafar said Liner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group’s letter of interest for buying 51% stake in Fauji Foods (+5%) attracted buyers in the stock and its parent Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim (+5%).

“Profit-taking is expected to continue on Wednesday as well, with chartists eyeing support at 42,400-200,” he said.

Inflation reading for July is due on Wednesday and the Consumer Price Index is expected to be 5.5% compared to 5.2% in June. Aisha Steel and MCB Bank will also unveil their results during the day.

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 274.5 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 377.9 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.7 billion.

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Shares of 385 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 83 stocks closed higher, 287 declined while 15 remained unchanged.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 19.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.10 to close at Rs2.21. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 17.1 million shares, losing Rs1.1 to close at Rs24.23 and DS Industries with 16.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.22 to close at Rs6.02.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs338.5 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.


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