Market watch: Activity remains subdued in absence of triggers

Benchmark KSE-100 index falls 19 points.


Our Correspondent November 22, 2012

KARACHI: Activity remained subdued at the local bourse in absence of macroeconomic or sector-specific news. Investors opted to book profits in the later session, wiping out early gains, and built positions in small and mid tier stocks again.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.11% or 18.60 points to end at 16,233.19 point level.

“Investors chose to be cautious and remained sidelined as the market corrected itself,” said Fahad Ali, analyst at JS Global Capital.

“In line with the last few sessions investors interest remained towards small and mid cap cement stocks,” said Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities.

Trade volumes fell to the paltry level of 205 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 330 million shares.

Shares of 366 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day 181 stocks closed higher, 158 declined while 27 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.56 billion.

According to a statement earlier by officials of the Maple Leaf Cement, the company may record the highest profit in six years as cement prices rise and slashed interest rates reduce loan payments. The news drove the stock up Rs0.30 to close at Rs14.25.

The index-heavyweight oil and gas sector attracted investors on news of possible upward revision in Qadirpur gas field to Rs3 per million British thermal units, which is estimated to have a positive impact on earnings of Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum.

Karachi Electric Supply Company was the volume leader with 36.53 million shares gaining Rs0.51 to finish at Rs6.16. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 23.70 million shares losing Rs0.07 to close at Rs6.70 and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 12.30 million shares climbing Rs0.23 to close at Rs16.10.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs17.41 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

“Volatility is expected at the local bourse for few days with only a select few sectors to spur excitement. Inflation figures for the month remain a key trigger ahead of the monetary policy statement due in December,” said Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2012.

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