KARACHI: Investors decided to bank profits ahead of the long weekend due to Eidul Azha. Negative corporate news also made its way back to investors catalysing the selling pressure at the local bourse. The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.33% or 52.81 points to end at 15,812.72 point level.
“Profit taking was seen at the local bourses ahead of long weekend,” said Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities. Trade volumes fell to 136 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 144 million shares.
Result announcements of Lucky Cement and Nishat Mills fell in line with market expectations; however the scripts still attracted selling pressure.
Shares of 370 companies were traded on Thursday. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.9 billion.
DG Khan Cement was the volume leader with 16.99 million shares shedding Rs0.57 to finish at Rs51.73. It was followed by Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) with 11.81 million shares losing Re1 to close at Rs17.57 and JS Growth Fund with 5.3 million shares gaining Rs0.17 to close at Rs7.82.
PTCL led the decline hitting the lower circuit after the Lahore High Court cancelled Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s notification of higher international calling rates under the international clearing house(ICH), said JS Global Capital analyst Khalil Usmani.
The proposed ICH gateway will converge all international calls to a single technical gateway led by PTCL against the current practice of being handled by 14 long distance international operators.
More negative news kept sentiment bearish as the Economic Coordination Committee decided to scrap the short-term measures proposed by the fertiliser industry for gas allocation on the premise that the hydroelectric power generation will decline in winter and the diversion of gas from the power sector to the fertiliser industry will create difficulties in tackling power shortages. Resultantly, Engro Corporation lost ground by 4% on volume of five million shares.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs193 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
The market will now eagerly await inflation numbers for October which are expected in the coming week. A consumer price index figure below 8% will stoke expectations of another rate cut in December and can potentially bring back the bulls.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2012.