KARACHI: Foreign institutional investors continued to be net sellers as the KSE-100 Index fell another 295 points on Wednesday to settle near the 42,250 mark.
Absence of any meaningful positive triggers and disappointing results announced by a cement company dented sentiment with volumes remaining on the lower side.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 295.03 points or 0.69% to settle at 42,249.44.
Elixir Securities’ analyst Muhammad Arbash said equities extended their decline ahead of the Quarterly MSCI Tracker Funds’ re-balancing on Friday.
“Moreover, the scheduled termination of future contracts on Friday supplemented the selling pressure as investors opted to liquidate their positions in the August contracts,” said Arbash.
“The decline was mainly led by cements with Cherat Cement (-4.7%) closing at its lower price circuit after announcing lower than expected FY18 result, posting an EPS of Rs12.07 along with cash dividend of Rs4 per share.
“Lucky Cement (-1.7%) contributed 26 points to the index’s decline. The much-anticipated ECC meeting concluded with no major decisions as it deferred the increase in gas prices.
“Resultantly, energy-intensive chemical producers – Descoon Oxychem Limited (+4.96%) and Sitara Peroxide Limited (+4.98%) – closed at their respective upper circuits while both gas utility companies (Sui Northern Gas Pipe Line (-2.5%) and Sui Southern Gas Company (-1.3%)) came under pressure right after the news.
“Pakistan State Oil (-0.05%) remained unchanged after the ECC approved the release of a meagre Rs10 billion for the company.
“We expect volatile trading to continue with foreign selling likely to pick up over the course of this week (on upcoming MSCI Rebalancing)” the analyst said.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 134.8 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 183.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.7 billion.
Shares of 390 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 96 stocks closed higher, 266 declined while 28 remained unchanged.
Agritech Limited was the volume leader with 14.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.15 to close at Rs7.48. It was followed by Unity Foods with 9.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.73 to close at Rs43.62 and Nimir Resins with 5.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.52 to close at Rs12.51.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs456.4 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.