KARACHI: Investors opted to bank profits across the board, after the market set record highs in the previous two sessions, amid concerns over mounting tensions between the military and the judiciary and adverse cement off-take figures.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index dived 0.65% or 105.22 points to end at 16,051.14 point level.
“Selling was witnessed at the local bourse as investors remained cautious after the statements by the Army chief and the chief justice,” said Topline Securities Equity Dealer Samar Iqbal.
The Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani warned on Monday, in a veiled challenge to the Supreme Court, that any efforts to undermine the military and “draw a wedge” between it and the country’s citizens will not be tolerated.
Trade volumes fell to 129 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 143 million shares.
Shares of 369 companies were traded on Tuesday. At the end of the day 97 stocks closed higher, 214 declined while 58 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.57 billion.
Moreover, weakness was seen in Pakistan Telecommunication Company as the Lahore High Court hearing on the international clearing house (ICH) was adjourned till November 14. The fertiliser sector also struggled to find a foothold, given inconclusive news on gas supply and urea import plans, said Mujtaba Barakzai, analyst at JS Global Capital.
According to All Pakistan Cement Manufacturer Association, total cement off-take in October 2012 stood at 2.77 million tons against 2.94 million tons in the same period last year, down 5.9%. In the first four months of fiscal 2013, total cement sales inched up marginally to 10.47 million tons from 10.44 million in the same period last year, says a JS Global Capital note. The weak figures led to selling in overbought cement stocks; pulling the market down.
Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 16 million shares falling Rs0.19 to finish at Rs6.68. It was followed by Engro Foods with 11.27 million shares gaining Rs3.65 to close at Rs76.6 and DG Khan Cement with 6.05 million shares losing Rs0.67 to close at Rs53.20.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs11 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2012.
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