Market watch: Stock market drops amid thin trade

KSE-100 benchmark index loses 52 points.

Express August 24, 2011

KARACHI: The stock market experienced dismal activity on Monday due to the strike call by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which caused the trading session to end 90 minutes earlier than actual time. The KSE-100 benchmark index lost 52 points or 0.48% to end the day at 10,842.26 points.

Stocks closed broadly lower amid thin trade in the earnings announcement session at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE), said Arif Habib Investments Director Ahsan Mehanti. Gains in Asian markets helped the market recover from its initial lows, he added.

The strike call by MQM paralysed transportation and much of the activity in the city. Trade volumes kept its negative momentum and fell to a dismal level of 22.4 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 35.7 million shares. The total value shares traded on Tuesday was Rs1.5 billion.

Despite the strike call, quality defensive stocks saw buying from leading institutions, said Topline Securities Senior Manager Mohammad Rizwan. Index heavyweights Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Petroleum Limited and MCB Bank pulled the index down, however, Pakistan Oilfields Limited and Fauji Fertilizer Company gained as investors preferred high dividend paying stocks at times of uncertainty, he added.

Foreign institutional investors finally broke their selling spree after six straight sessions and were net buyers of Rs199.8 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Shares of 239 companies were traded on Tuesday. At the end of the day 85 stocks closed higher, 81 declined while 73 remained unchanged.

National Bank of Pakistan was the volume leader with 4.05 million shares declining Rs0.53 to finish at Rs39.95. It was followed by Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited with 1.99 million shares gaining Rs0.42 to close at Rs11.66 and Nimir Industrial Chemicals with 1.98 million shares firming Rs0.26 to close at Rs3.16.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th,  2011.

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