Market Watch: Stock market loses upward momentum

KSE’s benchmark 100-share index declines 98 points.

Our Correspondent April 02, 2012

KARACHI: After gaining 4% last week, the stock market lost momentum on Monday as investors opted to book profits.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.72 per cent or 98.44 points to end at the 13,663.32 point level.

The country’s largest explorer Oil and Gas Development Company alone contributed 58% to the entire 100-share index fall, according to Elixir Securities equity dealer Haris Ahmed Batla.

Trade volumes declined to 315 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 413.94 million shares.

DG Khan Cement closed at its upper circuit while Dewan Cement and Lafrage Cement remained in the limelight as investors bet on healthy earnings in 2012.

Lower than expected inflation numbers for March did not have any impact on market sentiments. Inflation, measured by consumer price index, rose by 10.8% in March over the same period last year.

Engro Corporation brushed aside gas supply issues and rose 1.4% to close at Rs100.69 against the market trend on rumours of foreign buying.

Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs243 million and sellers of Rs263 million worth of shares, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Jahangir Siddiqui and Company, second highest traded share, closed at its lower limit of the day as punters opted out of the stock following confirmation of the company selling its stake in Pakistan International Container Terminal.

Dewan Cement was the volume leader with million shares 34.29 million shares gaining Rs0.80 to finish at Rs4.97. It was followed by Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 30.28 million shares declining Rs1.07 to close at Rs20.69 and Lafarge Pakistan with 25.19 million shares increasing Rs0.07 to close at Rs4.89.

Shares of 363 companies were traded on Monday. At the end of the day 135 stocks closed higher, 163 declined while 65 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.73 billion.

KSE tops Asia-Pacific in March

Continued upward momentum amid healthy volumes in March made Pakistan the top performing market in Asia-Pacific region.

In global perspective, local equities not only stood above Asia Pacific’s average returns but also global averages in March.

It seems as if there is nothing as exciting as equities these days, since the dramatic change of the investor’s sentiment took place post new Capital Gains Tax regime’s proposals given by the SECP, according to an InvestCap research note.

The benchmark index yielded 6.8% where equities continued staying supercharged as the average trading volumes of the month stood up a solid 42% to $77.9 million on a yearly basis while hitting multi-year highs in terms of share volumes.

The performance also attracted global interest, as foreigners stood at $8 million, marking the second successive month of inflows at the KSE, after an eight-month run of nominal but persistent outflows.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2012.


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