Market Watch: Index closes flat as market struggles to regain footing

Benchmark KSE-100 index sheds 6 points.


Our Correspondent April 18, 2012

KARACHI: The stock exchange on Tuesday took investors on a roller-coaster ride: the index ended almost flat after a strong upsurge in the early hours of trading was wiped out in profit-taking by the session’s end.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index shed 0.05% or 6.49 points to end at the 13,764 points.

Fertilisers took the brunt of selling; investors unloaded stocks after sentiments dampened on news of a worse-than-expected loss posted by Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim (FFBL), due to lower off-take and decline in international DAP prices. Furthermore, “Engro closed down 2.3% to Rs100.04, as investors were mixed on the resignation of Engro Corp President Asad Umar and its impact on the future of the company,” according to Elixir Securities Analyst Sibtain Mustafa.

Trade volumes rose nominally to 269 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 261 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.30 billion.

Cement stocks failed to capitalise on yesterday’s upward momentum and closed mixed, as “[the] bulls and bears struggled to make their ways,” added Mustafa. DG Khan Cement ended lower by 1.9% to close at Rs39.52, while Lucky Cement gained 0.6% to close at Rs127.19, despite some profit taking towards the end. “Overall, volumes remained focused in Jahangir Siddiqui Company (JSCL), which churned over 30 million shares, as speculators took positions after the stock corrected by around 25% over [the] past week,” he noted.

Shares of 366 companies were traded on Tuesday. At the end of the day 153 stocks closed higher, 133 declined while 80 remained unchanged.

Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 43.04 million shares gaining 5.18% or Rs0.35 to finish at Rs7.11. It was followed by JSCL with 33.23 million shares losing 5.34% or Rs0.95 to close at Rs16.84 and Lafarge Pakistan with 32.48 million shares losing 2.48% or Rs0.13 to close at Rs5.11.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs46.34 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.

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