KARACHI: The local bourse continued to set unprecedented highs, however, profit-taking was witnessed later in the session as sentiments remained mixed. Investors were seen switching positions to blue-chip stocks over sector-specific news flows.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index climbed 0.34% or 54.81 points to end at 16,156.36 points.
Trade volumes remained thin and fell to 143 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 191 million shares.
Sector-specific activity was seen with investors trading in blue-chip stocks. “Cement stocks and Engro Corporation remained in the limelight due to positive developments,” said Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities.
The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.52 billion.
Engro closed at its upper limit on the back of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) decision that urea will not be imported from next year onwards. It was also reported earlier that the ECC approved gas supply totaling 75 million cubic feet per day to the four plants on the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines network, which include Engro, Dawood Hercules, AgriTech and Pak Arab Fertilizers.
Cement stocks performed in anticipation of improving margins due to a decline in coal prices. According to a report compiled by BMA Capital, the benchmark Richards Bay coal prices were down by almost 20% from their average from the previous fiscal year, to about $85 per ton.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) remained under pressure after the court extended the date of international clearing house (ICH) call rate case. The 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.
According to Oman Tribune, overseas Pakistanis will have to pay up to 12 cents per minute to call, if ICH gateway becomes operational.
Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 15.65 million shares shedding Rs0.11 to finish at Rs6.83. It was followed by DG Khan Cement with 11.17 million shares gaining Rs0.60 to close at Rs53.79 and Engro Corporation with 7.48 million shares climbing Rs4.53 to close at Rs95.40.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs306 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2012.
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