Bear maintained a firm grip over the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Monday, in line with the performance during the last futures rollover week, as soaring inflation fuelled selling pressure across the board ahead of upcoming prolonged holidays.
According to data announced by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the inflation reading skyrocketed to 11.1% in April.
Moreover, the benchmark KSE-100 index maintained the downtrend due to news that the government had decided to close all businesses during 10-day long Eidul Fitr holidays, which forced investors to trade cautiously as they avoided taking fresh positions.
In the morning, the market opened downwards and fell sharply in earlier trading. Some stability emerged at midday, but it could not be sustained. Late session selling dragged the market further into the negative territory.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 186.15 points, or 0.42%, to settle at 44,076.20 points.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that rollover trades from April futures contracts, which remained outstanding at the end of rollover week on Friday, caused mayhem on Monday, especially the positions in TRG Pakistan and NetSol. Resultantly, the index shed 632 points during the session.
A recovery ensued on consideration that the positions had rolled over, however, since the positions were still outstanding, the recovery efforts proved futile.
NetSol hit its lower circuit at the beginning of the session, whereas TRG Pakistan traded near its lower circuit for the entire session.
Besides technology stocks, selling pressure was observed in cement and steel sectors, which kept the index down.
Sectors contributing to the performance included technology (-89 points), textile (-58 points), cement (-33 points), power (-29 points) and refinery (-12 points).
Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included Systems Limited (+41 points), HBL (+17 points), Unity Foods (+16 points), Kohinoor Textile Mills (+13 points) and Fauji Fertiliser (+13 points).
Stocks that contributed negatively were TRG Pakistan (-130 points), Hubco (-28 points), Nishat Mills (-23 points), Azgard Nine (-16 points) and Lucky Cement (-15 points).
JS Global analyst Neelam Naz said that the KSE-100 index experienced a volatile session, where bears remained in control throughout the day, with the index closing down 186 points at 44,076.
The market entered the positive zone during the day, however, it could not sustain the levels due to aggressive selling by market participants.
Overall trading volumes stood at 238 million shares where Unity Foods (+4.1%), Telecard Limited (-7%), Ghani Global Holdings (-7%), TRG Pakistan (-7.1%) and WorldCall Telecom (-2.1%) were the volume leaders.
“We expect the market to remain volatile in the remaining sessions before upcoming Eid holidays and recommend investors buy on dips the blue chip stocks, especially in the banking sector, which can be in the limelight in the coming days,” the analyst said.
Overall trading volumes declined to 238.4 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 293.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.3 billion.
Shares of 360 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 111 stocks closed higher, 238 declined and 11 remained unchanged.
Unity Foods was the volume leader with 36.4 million shares, gaining Rs1.27 to close at Rs32.06. It was followed by Telecard Limited with 25.3 million shares, losing Rs1.03 to close at Rs13.75 and Ghani Global Holdings with 23.1 million shares, losing Rs2.7 to close at Rs35.98.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs8.4 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.