Market watch: Activity dull ahead of major announcements

Benchmark KSE-100 index sheds 2 points.


Our Correspondent August 07, 2012

KARACHI: Lethargy marked yet another day at the country’s largest stock exchange on Tuesday, as the bourse ended little changed for the second consecutive day this week amid restricted volumes.

“Concerns for rising circular debt in the energy sector, decline in cement dispatches, power shortfall for the industrial sector and expected fall in fertiliser prices played a catalyst role in bearish sentiments,” observed Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corp. He attributed thinner volumes to investors’ anticipation of major earnings announcements and the State Bank policy announcement due this week.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index shed 0.01% or 1.53 points to end at the 14,672.24 points level. Trade volumes plummeted to 44 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 58 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs2.00 billion.

“The market remained range-bound today. Investors opted for a cautious stance ahead of a Supreme Court hearing tomorrow,” reported Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities. “MCB Bank’s above-expectation dividend announcement failed to boost sentiments.”

“Participants waited to know what will become of the Prime Minister when he appears in the NRO implementation case tomorrow,” added JS Global analyst Jawad Khan. “Engro witnessed decent volumes, advancing 1.3%,” Khan continued. “The Oil and Gas Development Company once again remained firm, albeit with low volumes, as analysts expect 49% growth in earnings in fiscal 2012, along with a healthy payout, when the company announces its results on Aug 9. Banks remained out of favour as investors expect that a discount rate cut will hit investment income going forward, due to a reduced reinvestment rate.”

Jahangir Siddiqui and Company was the volume leader with 2.74 million shares losing Rs0.26 to finish at Rs14.45. It was followed by Engro Corporation with 2.56 million shares gaining Rs1.11 to close at Rs89.82 and Quice Food with 2.36 million shares gaining Rs0.99 to close at Rs12.23.

Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs174.78 million and sellers of Rs47.40 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2012.

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