Market watch: KSE-100 losing streak continues for eighth successive session

Benchmark index loses 664.44 points to settle at 28,764.63


​ Our Correspondent August 16, 2019
Benchmark index loses 664.44 points to settle at 28,764.63. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange maintained its bearish sentiment despite opening after a long hiatus, slipping below the significant 29,000-mark. This marked the eighth successive session, where the index finished in red.

The geopolitical tensions and decline in international markets wreaked havoc on investor sentiment, thus dragging the index lower. The KSE-100 index kicked off trading on a negative note after the long Eid holidays with the selling spree continuing. Participants took cues from global markets, which had registered hefty losses in the past week. Following this development, foreigners opted to offload stocks as soon as the market opened, resulting in an intra-day plunge of nearly 700 points.

Additionally, an overall lack of positive triggers and developments on the political front also took toll on market sentiments.

"The stock market has taken cue from international markets, which received significant selling pressure during the long weekend and Eid holidays (August 10-15) in Pakistan," JS Research Head of Equity Sales Syed Arif Zafar told The Express Tribune.

The US-China trade war has mounted selling pressure at stock markets around the globe, he said, adding that the situation invited extended foreign selling at the PSX.

Besides, local mutual funds made continued sales after they received redemption calls from the investors in such funds, he commented.

"Trade volumes are hovering around six-seven years low at the PSX these days."

Zafar was of the view that the market is expected to maintain lull till there is some positive news on the economic front.

The positive news may include launch of the much-awaited market support fund worth Rs20 billion, he added.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 664.44 points, or 2.26%, to settle at 28,764.63 points.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the nightmare for equities continued, the first day after Eid holidays, as the KSE-100 index closed yet again in negative territory 664 points.

"Aggressive selling was seen in the market by foreign institutions as global markets witnessed hefty losses, gripped by fears for the global economy only a day after enthusiasm over possible detente in an ongoing US-China trade war had given them a dizzying lift."

The cement sector experienced aggressive selling making it close in the red region, where most scripts closed near to their respective lower circuits. LUCK (-5%), KOHC (-4.8%), CHCC (-3.0%) and MLCF (-2.5%) were among the major losers from the aforementioned sector. The E&P sector also followed the trend with most stocks ending in the red region, such as PPL (-4.5%), POL (-4.1%) and OGDC (-3.9%).

"Moving forward, we expect market to exhibit volatility in the coming sessions due to overall ambiguity in the political environment, particularly on the country's eastern border," he added.

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 65.2 million shares compared with Friday's tally of 76.4 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.4 billion.

Shares of 310 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 81 stocks closed higher, 212 declined and 17 remained unchanged.

Pakistan Petroleum was the volume leader with 6.3 million shares, losing Rs5.15 to close at Rs108.25. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 3.87 million shares, losing Rs0.45 to close at Rs17.59 and International Steels with 3.7 million shares, gaining Rs1.51 to close at Rs31.81.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs272.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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