KARACHI: The stock market failed on Wednesday to extend gains from the previous day and lost 230 points in the absence of major positive triggers and ahead of a decision on reduction in government’s development expenditure.
The benchmark KSE-100 index kicked off on a positive note, climbing past 40,800 points in early hours before heavy selling dragged it down. Cement and fertiliser stocks took a hit while exploration and production stocks rose.
Automobile stocks fell following a 20% drop in locally assembled vehicle sales in August 2018.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 237.49 points or 0.58% to settle at 40,522.04.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the market started on a positive note as the index hit an intra-day high of 65 points but soon lost ground, apparently due to profit-taking, resulting in a loss of 335 points. It closed the day down 237 points.
Volumes remained subdued as 137 million shares changed hands. Unity Foods (-2.07%) led the volumes with trading in more than 14 million shares.
Banking and cement sectors led the decline. Index heavyweights United Bank (-1.50%), MCB Bank (-0.45%), DG Khan Cement (-3.77%), Lucky Cement (-2.94%), and Maple Leaf Cement (-0.93%) cumulatively struck 93 points off the index, said Mulla.
“Crude oil prices edged up to $69.77 per barrel in the international market with Pakistan Petroleum (+1.64%), Oil and Gas Development Company (+0.20%) and Pakistan Oilfields (+1.32%) being major movers of the sector,” he said.
Amreli Steels (-4.66%) declared its FY18 result where the company announced earnings per share of Rs5.34 and cash payout of Rs2.20 per share.
Millat Tractors (-4.66%) from the auto sector also unveiled its FY18 result, positing earnings per share of Rs120.43 and cash dividend of Rs60 per share.
“Investors are recommended to trade cautiously and reduce short-term positions on strength due to lack of positive triggers that can potentially drive the market,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 137 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 139.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.32 billion.
Shares of 356 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 100 stocks closed higher, 237 declined and 19 remained unchanged.
Unity Foods was the volume leader with 14.6 million shares, losing Rs0.85 to close at Rs40.16. It was followed by The Bank of Punjab with 10.3 million shares, losing Rs0.41 to close at Rs11.09 and Descon Oxychem with 7.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.42 to close at Rs27.97.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs733.5 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.