Stocks kicked off Monday on a dull note, as punters resumed trading for the first time since the start of the Muslim holy month. The trading day has been shortened to end at 2.00 pm in order to facilitate those fasting, resulting in reserved activity ahead of earnings announcements due this week.
“Pakistan equities closed the day little changed ... on [the] first day of the holy month, with [a] shorter trading day. Lack of participation was very visible, and activity was limited to select names,” commented Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index shed 0.26% or 37.24 points to end at the 14,527.25 points level. “Stocks closed bearish amid institutional profit-taking in stocks across the board, on concerns for unrest in the city and fall in global stocks on [the] euro-zone debt crisis,” said Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corp.
Trade volumes plummeted to 28 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 96 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs935.17 million.
“Volumes were further damped by the arrival of the month of Ramazan and ongoing political cases being heard in the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” observed JS Global analyst Shakir Padela.
“Broader market failed to generate any interest today, however earnings related excitement will bring fresh liquidity and we see volumes to improve in the days ahead,” added Bilwani.
Shares of 245 companies were traded on Monday. At the end of the day 69 stocks closed higher, 127 declined while 49 remained unchanged.
Jahangir Siddiqui and Company was the volume leader with 3.87 million shares losing Rs0.42 to finish at Rs15.06. It was followed by Fauji Fertilizer (FFC) with 1.57 million shares gaining Rs1.05 to close at Rs118.10 and Descon Oxychem with 1.34 million shares gaining Rs0.36 to close at Rs4.32.
“FFC was able to close the day up 0.9% as investors are taking bets on a high cash payout with the final result expected to be announced early Wednesday morning,” Padela said.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs54.15 million and sellers of Rs37.57 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2012.