KARACHI: The stock market resumed trading after an extended weekend on Tuesday, but the lack of investor participation was evident in the lower volumes witnessed during the session.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index pared 0.11% or 16.79 points to end at the 15,795.93 points level. Trade volumes plunged to 85 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 136 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs2.19 billion.
“Uncertain global markets on hurricane threats in the US, limited foreign interest, dismal fertiliser off-take data from the National Fertilizer Development Centre, concerns over the gas shortfall for the industrial sector, and rising political uncertainty ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision on cases against unrest in the city affected sentiments,” noted Arif Habib Corp analyst Ahsan Mehanti.
Shares of 350 companies were traded on Tuesday. At the end of the day 146 stocks closed higher, 158 declined while 46 remained unchanged.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs399.96 million and sellers of Rs199.45 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 9.8 million shares losing Rs0.13 to finish at Rs6.38. It was followed by Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) with 9.61 million shares losing Rs0.85 to close at Rs16.72 and Karachi Electric Supply Company with 6.22 million shares losing Rs0.32 to close at Rs0.32.
“PTCL spiralled downwards as reactions to the court decision to axe the International Clearing House proposal continued for another day,” reported Ovais Ahsan, analyst at JS Global. “Engro was also amongst the leading decliners, as selling in anticipation of a poor fourth quarter [earnings] scorecard was witnessed,” he added.
“Askari Bank saw an intraday rally on Fauji Fertilizer’s notice to consider acquisition of the bank; though the rally was followed by a selloff from the day’s high,” said Ahsan. “The broader trigger for the market will be inflation numbers for the month expected end of this week.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2012.