Stocks ended higher on the first trading session of the week but off the day’s peak as foreign investors sold their holdings amid concerns over political tensions.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended up 0.5 percent, or 54.89 points, at 11,083.03 on Monday, after hitting an intraday high of 11,161.35.
Dealers said the market rose early, after the return to Pakistan of President Asif Ali Zardari, whose medical treatment in Dubai triggered speculation that he may resign.
“There was some optimism in the market in the morning after Zardari’s return, as investors thought that this might bring to an end the speculation regarding the future of the government,” said Shuja Rizvi, a dealer at brokers Al-Hoqani Securities.
“However, foreign investors, probably still concerned about the situation, emerged as sellers in the later part, driving the market sentiment lower, and though the index ended up, it was much lower than the high reached earlier in the day.”
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs145 million worth of shares on Monday, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited. Net selling by foreign investors in the Karachi stock market stood at mammoth $11.24 million last week.
Turnover fell to just 36.45 million shares, down from 47.64 million on Friday.
Shares of 302 companies were traded on Monday. At the end of the day 116 stocks closed higher, 95 declined while 91 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs1.35 billion.
Lotte Pakistan PTA was the volume leader with 4.9 million shares gaining Rs0.39 to finish at Rs9.07. It was followed by Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 4.32 million shares losing Rs0.25 to close at Rs4.27 and Engro Corporation with 3.49 million shares declining Rs4.76 to close at Rs91.97 as rumours of further foreign selling persisted in the stock. WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT BY REUTERS
Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2011.
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