KARACHI: After positive opening for the day, the Karachi bourse plunged into the red after news of the removal of chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) after the Supreme Court declared his appointment illegal.
The local bourse had been on an upward streak for a couple of weeks, breaking historic highs every trading session.
However ahead of the weekend, the market remained lacklustre, with volumes concentrated in penny stocks as investors stayed on the sidelines, which was due after end of the trading session.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index shed 0.27% or 50.27 points to end at 18,714.28 point level. Trade volumes fell to paltry level of 181 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 125 million shares.
“The removal of the SECP chairman dampened confidence of the investors,” reported Muhammad Rawjani, analyst at Elixir Securities.
“The index traded in the red zone for most of the day, where investors chose to square their positions and have a wait-and-watch approach,” Fahad Ali, analyst at JS Global Capital.
Institutional buying was witnessed at dips supporting the market and specific stocks with healthy fundamental values, added Ali.
In sector-specific news, Engro Corporation signed an agreement with the Oil and Gas Development Company for gas supply at $0.7 per million British thermal unit (mmbtu) for its fertiliser division, but the news failed to create any excitement as investors booked profits ahead of the weekend.
Shares of 343 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day 134 stocks closed higher, 158 declined while 51 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.51 billion.
TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 35.5 million shares gaining Rs0.98 to finish at Rs8.31. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 14.22 million shares gaining Re1 to close at Rs13.04 and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 13.74 million shares climbing Rs0.41 to close at Rs12.84.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs118.26 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2013.
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