Market watch: Stocks continue to lose ground over economic concerns

Published: February 15, 2019
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Benchmark index decreases 20.31 points to settle at 40,486.67. PHOTO: AFP

Benchmark index decreases 20.31 points to settle at 40,486.67. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The stock market closed flat on Friday amid pressure on selected stocks on investor concern over the prevailing economic uncertainty.

Institutional support was concentrated in oil stocks amid surging global crude prices and expectation of $21-billion Saudi investment during the visit of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman at the weekend.

Investor concern over likely hike in power tariff, surging circular debt and higher fiscal deficit of around 6.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) played the role of catalyst in bearish close of the market.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 20.31 points, or 0.05%, to settle at 40,486.67.

Market watch: KSE-100 sheds 52 points on institutional selling

JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said the KSE-100 closed the week at 40,487, down 0.05%. During the day, he said, the bourse hit a high and low of +139 and -146 points respectively.

Top laggards including Habib Bank Limited (-0.2%), Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.1%), Hubco (-1%), Fauji Fertiliser Company (-1%), Lucky Cement (-0.4%), Pakistan Oilfields (-0.2%) and Pakistan State Oil (-2.5%) cumulatively struck 71 points off the index.

Mixed sentiments were noted in fertiliser, bank and cement sectors where Engro (+0.1%), DG Khan Cement (+1.4%), MCB Bank (+0.2%) and United Bank (+2.1%) closed positive while Fauji Fertiliser Company (-1%), Lucky Cement (-0.4%) and Habib Bank (-0.2%) were in the red.

During the day, 93 million shares changed hands at a total value of $34 million, both reflecting a 25% decline, the analyst said.

Lotte Chemical (-2%), The Bank of Punjab (+1.7%) and Siddiqsons Tin Plate (+0.5%) were major contributors to the traded volume.

Market watch: Lack of triggers drags KSE-100 lower in thin volumes

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 93 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 123.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.69 billion.

Shares of 316 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 150 stocks closed higher, 152 declined and 14 remained unchanged.

Lotte Chemical was the volume leader with 10 million shares, losing Rs0.34 to close at Rs16.31. It was followed by The Bank of Punjab with 5.84 million shares, gaining Rs0.23 to close at Rs13.59 and Soneri Bank with 5.79 million shares, losing Rs0.2 to close at Rs12.71.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs230.4 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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