KARACHI: Volatility prevailed at the Karachi bourse on Thursday where the index covered some lost ground in the morning session, but failed to sustain the bullish momentum as midday selling amid a relatively muted day pulled the bourse down to close almost flat. Overall, a lot of churning was witnessed while institutions stuck to the sidelines owing to the close of the fiscal year 2012-13.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index climbed 0.06% or 12.77 points to end at the 21,015.34 point level. Trade volumes continue to fall as investors stayed on the sidelines, clocking in at 147 million shares, compared with Wednesday’s tally of 203 million shares.
“A relatively muted day in terms of volumes where the market gained in the initial trade, but failed to hold on as midday selling in key index stocks kept volatility high,” said Sibtain Mustafa, analyst at Elixir Securities.
In line with the market, the energy sector remained very volatile throughout the day with the Pakistan State Oil oscillating between a low of Rs307.12 and a high of Rs320.8. Moreover, the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee will bring further clarity on the policy decisions of the government on the resolution of the circular debt issue.
However, investor interest was evident in the cement sector due to strong profit margins in the sector and the allocation of Rs1.15 trillion in the Public Sector Development Programme in the budget 2013-14 which is expected to boost cement sales.
The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.12 billion.
Bank Alfalah was the volume leader with 16.57 million shares falling Rs0.9 to finish at Rs17.96. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 11.52 million shares gaining Rs0.15 to close at Rs13.34 and Pakistan Telecommunication Company with 8.3 million shares losing Rs0.17 to close at Rs21.2.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs243 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
News flow in the energy sector regarding payment of Rs300 billion to ease the circular debt will set the key theme for the bourse in the short term. The market is expected to remain volatile today as well due to rollover of future contracts and closing of the financial year.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2013.
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