Market watch: Stocks continue to fall, lose 253 points

Benchmark index decreases 0.67% to settle at 37,542.01


Our Correspondent January 03, 2019
Benchmark index decreases 0.67% to settle at 37,542.01. PHOTO: PPI / FILE

KARACHI: The KSE-100 index extended its fall on Thursday as investors were concerned about a slump in global equities and dismal data of oil sales for December 2018.

Trading remained thin despite institutional support following reports that Saudi Arabia would release another $1-billion loan tranche in the current month. However, concerns over the growing circular debt, uncertainty over terms of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package and dismal data of oil sales weighed on sentiments at the stock market.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 253.24 points or 0.67% to settle at 37,542.01.

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Elixir Securities’ analyst Murtaza Jafar said the index remained volatile amid low participation from investors and it managed to close at 37,542.

He said Oil and Gas Development Company (-3.36%) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (-2.72%) were major laggards of the day, contributing 112 points to the decline in the KSE-100 index. Engro Corporation (+2.02%) and United Bank Limited (+1.43%) contributed 57 points to gains in the index.

“On the diplomatic front, any breakthrough in US-Pakistan relations is likely to bode well for confidence-building measures,” the analyst said, adding there was also a possibility of resumption of military and financial assistance depending on Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace talks.

“Going forward, we expect investors to continue to hunt for value plays if clarity emerges on the IMF programme and the supplementary budget.”

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Overall, trading volumes decreased to 67.96 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 133.65 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.38 billion.

Shares of 319 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 88 stocks closed higher, 219 declined and 12 remained unchanged.

TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 10.93 million shares, losing Rs1.06 to close at Rs22.34. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 4.97 million shares, losing Rs0.75 to close at Rs24.8 and Descon Oxychem with 3.87 million shares, losing Rs0.28 to close at Rs28.36.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs7.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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