KARACHI: The stock market continued its bearish trend for the fourth successive session on Monday despite announcement of massive investments by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
The two countries signed agreements for investment in various sectors. However, the development failed to entice investors who remained on the sidelines.
The KSE-100 index opened upwards, but the momentum could not be sustained and it dropped nearly 500 points in intra-day trading. Geo-political tensions between Pakistan and India following an attack in the Indian-occupied Kashmir fuelled negative sentiments.
Some recovery was witnessed before the day's close, but it was not enough to push the index into the green zone.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 267.20 points, or 0.66%, to settle at 40,219.47.
Stock market remains under pressure as KSE-100 drops 1%
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said cement stocks were the major laggards due to tensions between Pakistan and India during which the latter withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status from Pakistan and slapped 200% customs duty on all imports from Pakistan.
Resultantly, DG Khan Cement (-4.3%) and Maple Leaf Cement (-4.7%) closed near their lower price limits whereas Lucky Cement (-1.7%) also remained in the red.
Habib Bank (-0.3%), Engro (-0.1%), Hubco (-0.6%), MCB Bank (-1%), Fauji Fertiliser Company (-0.4%), United Bank (-1.3%), Lucky Cement (-1.7%), Bank AL Habib (-0.2%) and Engro Fertilisers (-0.4%) cumulatively erased 93 points from the index.
In the fertiliser sector, Engro (-0.1%) and Fauji Fertiliser Company (-0.4%) remained in the negative territory. Pakistan State Oil (+1.5%) announced 1HFY19 earnings per share (EPS) of Rs10.86 with no cash payout while Ghandhara Industries (-5%) reported 1HFY19 EPS of Rs8.99.
Market watch: Stocks continue to lose ground over economic concerns
"On the economic front, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during his two-day visit signed multiple MoUs worth $20 billion covering areas such as mineral resources, oil refining, petrochemical production, power generation, development of renewable energy and cooperation in the field of youth and sports," the analyst said. "Going forward, we expect the market to remain negative on geo-political concerns."
Overall, trading volumes increased to 98.8 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 93 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.7 billion.
Shares of 328 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 75 stocks closed higher, 231 declined and 22 remained unchanged.
K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 6.3 million shares, losing Rs0.10 to close at Rs6.43. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 5.44 million shares, losing Rs0.63 to close at Rs26.03 and Fauji Foods with 5.42 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs33.60.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs265.36 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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