KARACHI: The Karachi bourse witnessed correction as selling in index heavy oil and gas and fertiliser sectors dragged the index down. The session, too, began on a subdued note, failing to carry its recent momentum as mixed set of news flows over country’s economic situation kept investors selective and cautious.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.85% or 202.54 points to end at the 23,573.68-point level. Trade volumes rose marginally to 305 million shares, compared with Wednesday’s tally of 304 million shares.
“The index lost 0.8% amid profit-taking in oil, banking and fertiliser sectors, while telecom and cement stocks remained supportive,” reported Samar Iqbal, head of equity sales at Topline Securities.
JS Global Capital’s Veer Bajaj believes the rollover week of future contracts triggered selling in National Bank of Pakistan, Engro Corporation, Adamjee Insurance Company and Pakistan State Oil. Furthermore, Engro Corporation’s wholly-owned fertiliser business Engro Fertilizers weak earnings announcement and bleak outlook on fertiliser off-take, pulled the index down for a correction, said Sibtain Mustafa, analyst at Elixir Securities.
On the flipside, Attock Group’s listed subsidiaries gained on expectations of cash payout in the upcoming results.
Shares of 376 companies were traded on Thursday. At the end of the day 172 stocks closed higher, 179 declined while 25 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.93 billion.
The cement sector was in the limelight after the US Congress approved grant for due diligence and feasibility study for development of Diamer Bhasha Dam. Second-tier cement stocks rallied with Kohat Cement, Maple Leaf Cement and Fauji Cement hitting their respective upper circuits.
According to Elixir Securities’ Mustafa, interest is cement stocks is likely to continue to remain strong on earnings and payout excitement despite government dropping out major infrastructural projects to better manage expenses.
At the same time, buying interest was observed in Pakistan Telecommunication Company and Telecard over unconfirmed but positive news flows of reinstatement of the international clearing house and government’s keen efforts to control grey traffic.
Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 45.18 million shares gaining Re1 to finish at Rs16.19. It was followed by National Bank of Pakistan with 30.37 million shares falling Rs2.83 to close at Rs57.18 and Bank of Punjab with 26.5 million shares losing Rs0.1 to close at Rs13.54.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs42.91 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.
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