Market watch: Earnings overshadow macro worries

Benchmark KSE-100 index falls 51 points.

Our Correspondent January 28, 2013
Trade volumes fell to paltry level of 190 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 218 million shares.

KARACHI: The local bourse opened the day rallying up as excitement over earnings announcement kept macro worries at bay. However, investors opted to bank profits above the psychological level of 17,000 points, pulling the market down as blue chips failed to deliver the high dividends and bonuses that investors had hoped for.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.3% or 51.37 points to end at 17,004.99 points level. Trade volumes fell to paltry level of 190 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 218 million shares.

“Profit taking was witnessed after major results announced today were not able to excite investors due to prevailing political uncertainty in the country,” said Shakir Padela, analyst at JS Global Capital.

“Results of Attock group and cement giant Lucky Cement compelled investors to book profits above the key 17,000 mark,” reported Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities.

Engro Corporation stole the show in the later hours of the session, hitting consecutive upper circuits on reported institutional activity, said Harris Batla, analyst at Elixir Securities. Engro Foods once again closed at its upper limit after excellent result announcement last week.

Pakistan Oilfields and Attock Refinery traded along the neutral line while Attock Petroleum, after failing to declare a cash dividend along with the results, shed 2.65% to close at Rs31.18.

Moreover, Lucky Cement closed almost flat with no surprises in its earnings announcement, which were in line with market expectations.

Shares of 342 companies were traded on Monday. At the end of the day 127 stocks closed higher, 182 declined while 33 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.1 billion.

Small cap plays continued to dominate the volume charts. Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 50.18 million shares gaining Rs0.32 to finish at Rs8.12. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 17.94 million shares losing Rs0.36 to close at Rs17.5 and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 11.93 million shares shedding Rs0.52 to close at Rs16.01.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs34.36 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2013.

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