Market Watch: Market fails to gain momentum as stocks close flat

Benchmark KSE-100 index up 7 points.

Our Correspondent April 20, 2012

KARACHI: The stock market closed flat amidst volatility on Friday; the exchange tested the 14,000 point psychological barrier – peaking at 14,061 points – before investors cashed in on those levels and wiped out most of the gains made during the day.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.05% or 7.01 points to end at the 13,936.48 point level.

“The market once again failed to close above [the] 14,000 points psychological level, as investors remained cautious regarding new developments on [the] gains tax. Selling pressure was witnessed, particularly in the oil stocks,” said Samar Iqbal, an equity dealer at Topline Securities.

“Stocks closed higher on strong earnings outlook, with investor interest in oversold fertiliser and banking stocks ahead of major corporate earnings announcements due next week,” said Ahsan Mehanti, director at Arif Habib Corp. “Bullish global stocks and higher global commodities played a catalyst’s role in [the] positive close, despite domestic turmoil,” he added.

Trade volumes fell to 244.21 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 307.93 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.49 billion.

Shares of 345 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day 127 stocks closed higher, 151 declined while 67 remained unchanged.

“Pakistan Telecommunic­ation Company (PTCL) increased by 4.9% as rumours continued to circulate regarding payments by Etisalat and a higher than expected dividend. Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) also rose by 2.6% after news reports suggested [that] urea manufacturers have asked the government to buy 300,000 tons from them, instead of importing, due to ample inventory,” said JS Global Analyst Shakir Padela. FFC closed at Rs121.66, up Rs3.13, while PTCL was one of the top traded stocks.

Engro Polymer was the volume leader with 27.87 million shares gaining Rs0.27 to finish at Rs13.09. It was followed by PTCL with 22.74 million shares gaining Rs0.65 to close at Rs13.92 and Jahangir Siddiqui Company with 18.56 million shares losing Rs0.74 to close at Rs18.09.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs342.90 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2012.

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