The stock market fell on the first trading session of the week while the fertiliser sector continued to dominate activity at the bourse.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.23 per cent or 28.28 points to end at 12,318.24 points.
Fertiliser stocks continued their upward march as Fauji Fertiliser and Fatima Fertiliser were top picks for investors after the sector’s changing dynamics strengthened the bottom line, said Elixir Securities equity dealer Sibtain Mustafa. Engro Fertiliser increased the price of urea by Rs145 to Rs1,360 per bag with rest of the sector expected to follow suit.
Fauji Fertiliser was the volume leader with 8.25 million shares, gaining Rs8.13 to finish at Rs171.96. It was followed by its subsidiary Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim with 6.21 million shares, firming Rs0.32 to close at Rs47.33 and NIB Bank right shares with 3.85 million shares, declining Rs0.08 to close at Rs0.03.
Rumours regarding change in pricing formula for refineries put the sector under selling pressure, said Topline Securities equity dealer Samar Iqbal. National Refinery lost more than Rs9 while Attock Refinery fell Rs3 during the trading session.
Trade volumes dropped to 57 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 69 million shares. Shares of 327 companies were traded on the first trading session of the week.
Nishat Mills and Nishat Chunian hit new lows as cotton prices dropped to around Rs6,000 per maund. The two mills are expected to have procured cotton at an average price of Rs8,300 per maund.
Pakistan Oilfields also remained in the limelight as the first draft of the petroleum policy is expected to be unveiled soon.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs2.2 million worth of shares, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
At the end of the day, 80 stocks closed higher, 158 declined and 89 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.1 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2011.