KARACHI: The stock market had a highly bearish session on Tuesday as the benchmark index remained in the red for the entire day and lost nearly 800 points in the wake of mounting tensions between Pakistan and India.
Violation of Pakistan's air space by India sparked concern among investors in the market. The index started falling as soon as trading began. At one point, the market went down 680 points and recovered around 300 points, supported mainly by index heavyweights, especially Habib Bank and United Bank.
However, in the last half hour of trading, a significantly higher number of stocks touched their lower price limits.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 785.12 points, or 1.98%, to settle at 38,821.67.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said equities fell with the benchmark KSE-100 index diving 785 points and closing at 38,822. He said the bourse hit an intra-day low of 880 points as negativity in the market was the result of escalating tensions with India.
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All sectors came under pressure among which exploration and production, financial, cement and fertiliser stocks were the major laggards.
DG Khan Cement (-3.8%) reported 1HFY19 consolidated earnings per share (EPS) of Rs3.82 whereas Pioneer Cement (-4.1%) announced 1HFY19 EPS of Rs2.32.
Moreover, Nishat Mills (-3.2%) reported 1HFY19 consolidated EPS of Rs10.84 with no cash payout. Pakistan Petroleum (-2.8%), Oil and Gas Development Company (-2.6%), Habib Bank (-0.8%), Engro (-1.6%), MCB Bank (-1.6%), Hubco (-0.1%), Fauji Fertiliser Company (-1.4%), United Bank (-1.9%), Pakistan Oilfields (-2.1%) and Lucky Cement (-3.2%) were the top stocks that cumulatively erased 314 points from the index.
The analyst said the market's traded value stood at $50 million, up 90% and traded volumes came in at 162 million shares, up 138%.
Major contribution to the total market volume came from The Bank of Punjab (-3.3%), K-Electric (-2.6%), Engro Polymer and Chemicals (+0.2%) and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (-6.1%).
"Going forward, we expect the market to remain volatile on geo-political concerns," he added.
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Overall, trading volumes increased to 161.9 million shares compared with Monday's tally of 68.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.95 billion.
Shares of 363 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 37 stocks closed higher, 309 declined and 17 remained unchanged.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 23.4 million shares, losing Rs0.42 to close at Rs12.38. It was followed by K-Electric with 8.6 million shares, losing Rs0.16 to close at Rs6.04 and Engro Polymer with 7.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs36.47.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs216.24 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
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