KARACHI: Investors seemed to have left a day early for the weekend as all the negative news flows took the bourse and activity level down.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index crawled down 0.04 per cent or 5.01 points to end at the 11,301.09 point level on Friday while the value of shares traded dropped to a five-month low of Rs1.1 billion.
Despite the World Bank’s loans commitment of $5.5 billion over the next few years, the market remained range-bound on the back of the ongoing memogate scandal. The memogate controversy took a new turn after the premier blamed the army for plotting against civilian administration. However, Chief of Army Staff voiced its strongest support for democracy and condemned rumours of any administration change.
“Although some buying interest was witnessed in the first half, however, the activity remained short lived dragging the index in red at the close,” said JS Global Capital analyst Umer Ayaz.
Foreign institutional investors toned down their level of activity as they were gross buyers of Rs18 million and sellers of Rs47 million worth of shares, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Local institution opted to trade very cautiously with majority of volume in the fertiliser sector after Fatima Fertilizer followed Engro and raised its urea bag prices by Rs100 per bag. Engro Corporation after sliding by 25% during a month finally got buyers clicking in as majority believe that stock has overplayed negativity and is likely to rebound in the coming days.
Fatima Fertilizer was the volume leader with 4.79 million shares losing Re0.01 to finish at Rs23.16. It was followed by Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 2.57 million shares declining Rs0.11 to close at Rs4.08 and Engro Corporation with 2.05 million shares falling Rs0.13 to close at Rs98.41.
Trade volumes dropped dead to paltry level of 31 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 33 million shares.
Shares of 303 companies were traded on the last trading session of the week. At the end of the day 94 stocks closed higher, 113 declined while 96 remained unchanged.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2011.
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