Market watch: Stock market crawls up amid dismal volumes

KSE Benchmark 100-share index rises 14 points.


Express August 22, 2011

KARACHI: The stock market after oscillating up and down during trade on Monday closed up amid dull volumes.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index rose 0.13 per cent or 14.33 points to end at 10,894.15 point level, in line with regional markets.

Oil stocks attracted fresh buying due to cheap multiples with Pakistan Oilfields jumping 1.5% on expectation of healthy profits, said JS Global Capital analyst Jawad Khan.

Attock group of companies performed well after announcement of their board meeting dates amid market expectation of healthy payout. Attock Petroleum jumped 2.7% to close at Rs 352.86 while Attock Refinery gained Rs3.51 to close at Rs117.39.

The banking sector remained largely depressed due to rumours of foreign funds selling, particularly National Bank of Pakistan.

Foreign institutional investors opted to sell for the sixth straight session, with Rs43.8 million worth of shares sold on Monday, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Volumes remained an issue as market lacks confidence owing to domestic liquidity constraints, said Elixir Securities equity dealer Sibtain Mustafa. Trade volumes fell to paltry level of 35.7 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 41 million shares.

Local investors continue to remain sidelined as domestic law and order situation remains uncertain, added Mustafa.

The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.45 billion.National Bank of Pakistan was the volume leader with 5.15 million shares declining Rs0.82 to finish at Rs40.48. It was followed by Nimir Industrial Chemicals with 2.5 million shares gaining Rs0.1 to close at Rs2.9 and Engro Corporation with 2.19 million shares firming Rs2.44 to close at Rs114.3.

Engro continued its slide despite trading highly oversold as investors continue to look for an exit owing to its continued gas disruption, said Mustafa.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd,  2011.

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