KARACHI: Volatility prevailed at the market today as investors took new positions in stocks reflecting sector-specific news flows, but managed to close up record high for second straight session. Telecom sector was the talk of the day attracting selling pressure due to withdrawal of the international clearing house (ICH) notification by the telecom regulator, while lack of interest in the index-heavyweight oil and gas sector dented overall sentiments.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index climbed 0.15% or 25.55 points to end at 16,675.70 point level.
“Stocks traded both columns managing to close green towards the end of the session,” said Haris Batla, analyst at Elixir Securities. Telecom sector was the market mover while sentiments were low as oils and cements traded red for most of the session on lack of interest, Batla added.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) withdrew the imposition of ICH charges on incoming calls from abroad. The proposed ICH gateway would have converged all international calls to a single technical gateway led by Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) against the current practice of being handled by 14 long distance international operators. The news led PTCL to plunge and hit its lower lock of 5%.
On the contrary institutional activity kept banks upbeat as investors bet on payout expectations with calendar year coming to a close. Engro Foods was the highlight of the day, hitting the upper circuit, as funds flow for consumer plays following Unilever intention to de-list.
The market also found support from expectations that the State Bank of Pakistan will cut its discount rate this week after government data showed inflation under control.
Trade volumes rose to 234 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 193 million shares.
Shares of 401 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day 164 stocks closed higher, 193 declined while 44 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.61 billion.
PTCL was the volume leader with 27.19 million shares shedding Rs0.90 to finish at Rs17.01. It was followed by Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 23.92 million shares gaining Rs0.30 to close at Rs18.77 and Lotte Pakistan with 16.66 million shares climbing Rs0.04 to close at Rs7.23.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs97.95 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2012.
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