KARACHI: The stock market lost ground for the fifth successive session on Tuesday as institutions resorted to profit-taking, which pushed benchmark index below the 40,000-point mark.
After staying positive briefly, the KSE-100 index kicked off a negative run due to dismal data of foreign direct investment (FDI), which stood at just $1.45 billion for July-January FY19, down 17% on a year-on-year basis, and concern over deteriorating Pakistan-India ties.
Fears over instability in the rupee-dollar parity and a decline of $310 million in foreign fund inflows for July-January FY19 played a major role in the bearish close of the market.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 262.4 points, or 0.65%, to settle at 39,957.07.
Elixir Securities’ analyst Muhammad Arbash said equities closed another day in the red, down 262 points at 39,957.
He said investors remained on the sidelines because of review of Pakistan’s performance by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), geo-political noise and ongoing rollover week.
As such, index heavyweights, including financial and energy stocks, dragged the index down. Habib Bank Limited (-2.16%), Bank Alfalah (-2.3%), United Bank Limited (-1.7%), Pakistan Oilfields (-0.91%) and Pakistan Petroleum (-0.56%) cumulatively contributed 98 points to the KSE-100’s decline.
The analyst said activity remained dull throughout the day with trading in only 56 million shares in the benchmark index.
Volume charts were dominated by retail favourites as only Fauji Cement (-1.83%) and Maple Leaf Cement (-0.84%) featured among volume leaders from the cement sector. “We recommend investors to remain cautious as we eye support at 39,300,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 94.4 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 98.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.9 billion.
Shares of 322 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 78 stocks closed higher, 223 declined and 21 remained unchanged.
K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 9.7 million shares, losing Rs0.03 to close at Rs6.4. It was followed by Siddiqsons Tin Plate with 6.7 million shares, losing Rs1.05 to close at Rs20.97 and Pak Elektron with 5.7 million shares, remaining stable at Rs26.03.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs236.5 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.