KARACHI: The recent spate of selling continued unabated for the third consecutive session, with wary investors abandoning positions ahead of an anticipated fall in the bourse.
Their concerns had been triggered by heavy foreign selling in the past two sessions, even though foreigners turned net buyers in Tuesday trading.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index dropped 1.34% or 296.84 points to end at 21,919.62 points. Trade volumes dropped to 347 million shares, compared with Monday’s tally of 378 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.45 billion.
“Index heavyweight MCB Bank fell by more than Rs12, forcing the index down by 103 points on its own,” reported Samar Iqbal, Senior Manager Equity Sales at Topline Securities.
“Profit-taking was also seen in oil stocks, while selective buying was witnessed in cement stocks after an increase in the price of cement bags,” she added.
Shares of 369 companies were traded on Tuesday. At the end of the day, 84 stocks closed higher, 243 declined and 42 remained unchanged.
“Reported institutional and foreign selling in oils and banks pushed the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) down 1.3%, Pakistan Petroleum down 1.5% and MCB Bank down 4.5%, extending the index’s decline to over 300 points. However, late buying in oils, especially OGDC, helped in recouping some of those losses,” reported Elixir Securities analyst Muhammad Raza Rawjani.
Rawjani also stated that some cement stocks came under pressure on reports that exporters had cut the price of cement destined to Afghanistan in order to edge out smuggled Iranian cement.
“On the other hand, individuals continued to remain cautious because of confusion over the wealth tax and [new regulations regarding the] disclosure of sources of income,” he added.
Bank of Punjab (rights issue) was the volume leader with 61.74 million shares, losing Rs1.00 to finish at Rs2.79. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 29.09 million shares, gaining Rs0.19 to close at Rs13.26 and Lafarge Pakistan Cement with 28.98 million shares, gaining Rs0.12 to close at Rs9.19.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs803.2 million and sellers of Rs397.68 million worth of securities, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
“Investors have become somewhat cautious ahead of the monetary policy announcement on June 21, and the government’s meeting with the International Monetary Fund on June 19,” commented JS Global Capital analyst Mujtaba Barakzai.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2013.
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