KARACHI: The stock market experienced a lacklustre session on Friday due to the absence of positive triggers, a poor security situation and recent failure of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which kept investors at bay.
The KSE-100 index closed almost flat, losing just five points in the last trading day of the week.
Earlier, trading began on a negative note and the bourse shed over 200 points, but it staged a recovery before the end of the first half. In the second half, volatility emerged and the index oscillated between positive and negative zones before finally closing flat. Weak investor sentiments kept them on the sidelines, which resulted in a dull trading session. Exploration and production (E&P) stocks attracted heavy selling and the entire sector remained in the red.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 4.75 points or 0.01% to settle at 40,869.28.
Arif Habib Limited’s Ahsan Mehanti said stocks closed flat amid thin trade because of investor concerns over the security situation in the country.
“Uncertainty in global equities and a slump in international crude prices invited mid-session selling,” he added. “Financial and cement stocks outperformed ahead of the State Bank’s monetary policy announcement next week and on reports of surging local cement prices.”
Political uncertainty and IMF’s forecast of a weak growth of 4% due to economic imbalances contributed to the bearish close at the Pakistan Stock Exchange, he added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said stocks ended the week on a negative note as the benchmark KSE-100 index shed 5 points at 40,869.
“The PSX hit an intra-day low of -219 points in today’s trading session,” he said. “Traded volumes remained dull with 123 million shares changing hands, down 23% from the last session.”
Dewan Cement (+4.92%) and Maple Leaf Cement (+4.48%) led the volumes with cumulative trading in almost 15 million shares.
On the economic front, the foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank continued to spiral downwards for the 13th successive week as they fell 2.62% on a weekly basis.
The cement sector contributed 110 points to the index where Lucky Cement (+4.68%), DG Khan Cement (+3.49%), Maple Leaf Cement (+4.48%), Dewan Cement (+4.92%), Cherat Cement (+2.15%) and Kohat Cement (+2.06%) were in the green zone.
The E&P sector continued its downward journey because crude oil prices had edged down in the international market. Pakistan Oilfields (-2.32%), Pakistan Petroleum (-1.77%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-1.34%) were major losers of the sector.
“(We) expect the market to remain under pressure as the rollover week starts on Monday. The monetary policy will also be announced next week so we recommend investors to go for consolidation and view any downside as an opportunity to buy cement and banking stocks,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 123.6 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 160.2 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.1 billion.
Dewan Cement was the volume leader with 7.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.74 to close at Rs15.78. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 7.3 million shares, gaining Rs2.23 to close at Rs51.96 and Siddiqsons Tin Plate with 6.4 million shares, losing Rs0.13 to close at Rs20.71.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs174.36 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.