The bourse rounded off the first week of trading during Ramazan almost flat. Investors chose to stay sidelined on the last trading day of the week, as major corporate results are yet to be announced. Volumes dipped again to below 60 million shares, marking a slow week overall for the country’s otherwise busiest stock exchange.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index closed down 0.18% or 26.88 points to end at the 14,526.41 points level. Trade volumes plunged to 58 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 81 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs2.11 billion.
“Stocks closed lower amid thin trading on investor concerns for the uncertain macroeconomic situation, security concerns regarding Nato supply routes, and limited foreign interest ahead of the release of pending US Coalition Support Funds,” observed Ahsan Mehanti, from Arif Habib Corp.
“Concerns for the rising circular debt in the energy sector and revenue losses [incurred by the] fertiliser sector due to gas supply worries played a catalyst role in bearish sentiments at the KSE,” he added.
“Food and beverages remained the major outperformers of the day, on expectations of higher sales in the month of Ramazan. National Foods, Mitchell’s Fruit Farms and Shezan all closed at their respective upper limits,” reported Ahmed Rauf, analyst at JS Global.
Shares of 273 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day 98 stocks closed higher, 119 declined while 56 remained unchanged.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) was the volume leader with 7.29 million shares losing Rs0.51 to finish at Rs14.26. It was followed by DG Khan Cement (DGKC) with 6.81 million shares gaining Rs0.43 to close at Rs45.90 and Jahangir Siddiqui & Company with 5.89 million shares losing Rs0.18 to close at Rs16.04.
“Investors booked profits in PTCL, after news that its Voluntary Separation Scheme [announced today for its employees] may affect its short-term earnings. Cement stocks like DGKC and Maple Leaf Cement remained in the limelight, as investors expect better June quarter results,” said Topline Securities equity dealer Samar Iqbal.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs42.53 million and sellers of Rs47.99 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2012.