KARACHI: The Karachi stock market continues its correctional phase as trading remained range-bound where the index marginally closed in the black. Interest was seen in second- and third- tier stocks amidst volatility as investors remained on the sidelines.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index rose 0.12% or 27.96 points to end at the 23,312.77-point level. Trade volumes slumped to 141 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 202 million shares.
“After correcting 2.1% from an intraday high of 23,776 points, the market consolidated,” reported Fahad Ali, analyst at JS Global Capital.
Pakistan equities traded range-bound and closed marginally up as the mood at the local bourse still remains in a correction phase, said Muhammad Rawjani, analyst at Elixir Securities. Volumes were also on the lower side as half of the city stayed closed due to religious festivities.
“Investor interest was confined mostly in small and mid cap stocks which had remained laggards in recent rallies,” added Rawjani.
Shares of 341 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day 154 stocks closed higher, 155 declined while 32 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.26 billion.
The cement sector, which had been leading the previous rallies, failed to perform as sentiments towards the sector turned bearish in anticipation of low dispatches this month.
The fertiliser sector was under pressure today as the price of fertiliser plunged 25% in the past couple of weeks.
Activity in the banking sector was lacklustre where major banks including United Bank, MCB Bank and Bank Alfalah failed to churn out enough volumes to even touch the one-million-mark. However, National Bank of Pakistan was an exception, generating enough volume to jump on the volume leader board.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company closed near its upper lock as the company will close its books today and investors want to get their names in the books to get their hands on the dividend.
Both gas distributors – Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and Sui Southern Gas Company – closing at upper locks due to reports that the government may announce lower line-losses benchmark for gas distribution companies in the upcoming energy policy.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company was the volume leader with 15.26 million shares gaining Rs1.3 to finish at Rs28.11. It was followed by National Bank of Pakistan with 12.88 million shares gaining Rs0.33 to close at Rs58.3 and Fauji Cement with 9.56 million shares losing Rs0.23 to close at Rs15.94.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs566.5 million and sellers of Rs575.5 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.
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