KARACHI: Bears maintained control on the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Tuesday as the benchmark index dipped further on the back of profit-taking by investors.
Following a brief positive open, the KSE-100 index succumbed to selling pressure and lost ground. Institutional selling came in the wake of decline in global crude prices and concern over weak corporate earnings.
The downtrend continued for most part of the day, however, mid-session support was lent by speculation over likely avoidance of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklisting as Pakistan showed progress on complying with some targets.
Although political uncertainty continued to dampen investor sentiment, some recovery was seen later in the day.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 102.73 points, or 0.30%, to settle at 34,083.53 points.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said equities closed on a negative note with the benchmark KSE-100 index shedding 103 points. "[We] expect the market to remain choppy with sell-on-strength view ahead of FATF announcement," Ladhani said.
The exploration and production sector was the major laggard as international oil prices extended the fall following release of weak Chinese trade data and global demand concerns. Oil and Gas Development Company (-1.2%) and Pakistan Oilfields (-2.1%) remained in the red.
Mixed sentiment was seen in the fertiliser sector where Engro (-0.6%) fell whereas Fauji Fertiliser Company (+0.01%) edged up.
Engro Polymer and Chemicals (+0.5%) in the chemical sector reported 9MCY19 consolidated earnings per share (EPS) of Rs3.10 compared to Rs5.03 in the same period of previous year.
Mixed interest was witnessed in the financial sector. HBL (+0.4%) announced 9MCY19 consolidated EPS of Rs5.89 against Rs6.57 in the corresponding period of previous year with cash payout of Rs1.25 per share. UBL (-0.2%) remained in the red.
International Steels (+0.6%) announced 1QFY20 results where the company reported EPS of Rs0.80 vs Rs1.93 last year with no dividend payout.
Topline Securities, in its report, stated, "Despite rumours pertaining to hike of Rs10-15 in cement prices per bag, major cement stocks did not record any noteworthy gain in their prices."
Furthermore, all oil and gas exploration companies fell in the range of 0-2% due to decline in international oil prices.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 156.4 million shares compared with Monday's tally of 137.9 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.3 billion.
Shares of 368 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 185 stocks closed higher, 158 declined and 25 remained unchanged.
WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 18.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs1.07. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 14.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.53 to close at Rs15.37 and Lotte Chemical with 8.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs16.04.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs269.9 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ