Market watch: Stocks retreat as investors resort to profit-booking

Benchmark index decreases 208.67 points to settle at 40,070.71


Our Correspondent February 21, 2019
Benchmark index decreases 208.67 points to settle at 40,070.71. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: In contrast to the bullish activity in the preceding session, the stock market retreated into the red zone on Thursday as investors resorted to profit-taking.

After a brief open in the positive, the KSE-100 index dipped nearly 390 points, falling below the 40,000 level. Negative sentiments emerged due to a lack of positive triggers, which prompted investors to stay on the sidelines.

Although the index recovered from its plunge, it still finished the day in the negative territory.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 208.67 points, or 0.52%, to settle at 40,070.71.

JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said the KSE-100 traded sideways earlier in the session, but came under pressure later due to lower-than-expected financial results of some major companies.

Market watch: Five-day losing streak ends on strong corporate earnings

Mixed sentiments were witnessed in banks where United Bank (-5%) closed at its lower limit. Meezan Bank (+1.1%) reported 2018 earnings per share (EPS) of Rs7.66 with dividend per share of Rs2. Askari Bank (+0.8%) and Faysal Bank (-4.5%) also reported their earnings with 2018 EPS of Rs3.51 and cash payout of Rs1 per share, and consolidated EPS of Rs3.22 respectively.

Hubco (-4.2%) in the power sector closed near its lower price limit as the company reported 1HFY19 EPS of Rs4.67.

Mixed sentiments were seen in cement stocks as well where Lucky Cement (+1.1%) closed in the black but DG Khan Cement (-0.5%) remained in the red. Kohat Cement (+5%) reported 1HFY19 EPS of Rs4.97.

United Bank (-5%), Hubco (-4.2%), Habib Bank (-3%), Kapco (-5%), Engro (-0.3%) and Engro Fertilisers (-0.6%) were the top losers that cumulatively contributed 258 points to the index's decline.

Market watch: Profit-taking drags down KSE-100 below 40,000 points

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 102.6 million shares compared with Wednesday's tally of 132.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.05 billion.

Shares of 329 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 103 stocks closed higher, 197 declined and 29 remained unchanged.

Unity Foods was the volume leader with 10.03 million shares, losing Rs1.05 to close at Rs20.13. It was followed by K-Electric with 6.1 million shares, losing Rs0.07 to close at Rs6.27 and United Bank with 5.1 million shares, losing Rs7.87 to close at Rs149.60.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs130.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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