Market watch: Stocks return to negative run, close slightly down

Benchmark KSE-100 index decreases 0.15% to settle at 39,688.51

Our Correspondent March 05, 2019
Benchmark KSE-100 index decreases 0.15% to settle at 39,688.51. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The stock market closed slightly lower on Tuesday as investors were concerned that tensions between Pakistan and India would escalate in the wake of new developments.

In the morning, the benchmark KSE-100 index opened on a positive note, but it came under selling pressure near midday, which was mainly sparked by anticipation of escalation of tensions between Pakistan and its eastern neighbour India.

Investor sentiments remained weak as Pakistan Navy said it had intercepted an Indian submarine which was trying to enter Pakistan’s waters.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 61.24 points, or 0.15%, to settle at 39,688.51.

According to a report of Arif Habib Limited, the stock market opened on a positive note with a gain of 25 points and trading in four million shares at the opening bell. All of these stocks were traded in The Bank of Punjab (BOP).

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It stated that investors reposed confidence in BOP as throughout the session the bank’s stock was traded above the opening price.

The banking sector topped the trading volume with a turnover of 76 million shares, of which nearly 67 million shares were traded in BOP.

Besides, the textile sector also came in the limelight during the day, where Nishat Chunian remained prominent with trading in nearly seven million shares.

“The market came under selling pressure near midday, which was mainly caused by concerns over anticipation of escalation of situation between Pakistan and India,” stated the report.

Sectors that contributed to the market’s movement included banks (down 51 points), exploration and production companies (down 42 points), cement (down 25 points), insurance (down 14 points), miscellaneous (up 22 points) and fertiliser (up 15 points).

Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes were BOP, K-Electric, Nishat Chunian, Pakistan International Bulk Terminal and TRG Pakistan, which accounted for 55% of the total volumes.

Stocks that contributed positively included Pakistan Services (up 20 points), Dawood Hercules (19 points), Thal Limited (11 points), K-Electric (8 points) and Glaxosmithkline (8 points). Stocks that contributed negatively were Habib Bank (down 24 points), Pakistan Petroleum (21 points), Oil and Gas Development Company (17 points), Pakistan State Oil (11 points) and Lucky Cement (11 points).

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Overall, trading volumes decreased to 163.9 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 168.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.8 billion.

Shares of 347 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 147 stocks closed higher, 177 declined and 23 remained unchanged.

The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 66.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.28 to close at Rs14.07. It was followed by K-Electric with 7.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.14 to close at Rs6.28 and Nishat Chunian with 6.9 million shares, gaining Rs1.48 to close at Rs53.84.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs123.4 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.