KARACHI: Across-the-board selling in the broader market, as cements and oil and gas sectors lose appeal, pulled the Karachi bourse down to close below the support level of 23,000 points. Blue chips continue to face the brunt of selling pressure as market continues on its corrective path.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index shed 0.72% or 166.17 points to end at 22,994.72 points. Trade volumes rose to 232 million shares, compared with Tuesday’s tally of 223 million shares.
The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.43 billion.
“Pakistani equities closed lower as institutional selling in index names, mainly oils and cements, pulled the broader market in the negative during the latter half of the session,” reported Faisal Bilwani, analyst at Elixir Securities.
Volatility prevailed at the KSE as the index closed the day in the red and below the 23,000-point level, said JS Global Capital analyst Veer Bajaj.
Engro Corporation, owing to its gas supply quandary, hit its lower lock for the second straight day, however, Elixir’s Bilwani believes that yesterday’s selling was primarily on account of profit-taking after a stellar gain of 50% by the stock over the past week.
The only sector that weathered the selling pressure was banking as National Bank of Pakistan and MCB Bank led the rally on reported foreign and local buying in anticipation of reduction in minimum savings rate.
Moreover, Pakistan Telecommunication Company that hit its upper lock on Tuesday owing to announcement of healthy performance and cash payout closed in the red on Wednesday due to reported prop book selling.
National Bank of Pakistan was the volume leader with 21.97 million shares gaining Rs0.52 to finish at Rs55.55. It was followed by Pakistan International Airlines with 21 million shares falling Rs0.36 to close at Rs8.46 and Pakistan Telecommunication Company with 18.48 million shares losing Rs0.42 to close at Rs25.08.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs119.69 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2013.
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