Market watch: Stocks drop as investors wait on monetary policy

Benchmark KSE-100 index falls 15.40 points.

Our Correspondent November 13, 2013
Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 12.2 million shares gaining Rs0.20 to finish at Rs11.58.

KARACHI: The stock market fell further as investors awaited the announcement of the monetary policy.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.07% or 15.40 points to end at 23,287.06 points.

“The market traded in a narrow band on low volumes as the expected monetary policy announcement kept major investors to the sidelines. Participants were divided over discount rate hike following recent inflation numbers with a majority thinking along the lines of a 50 to 100 basis points hike in the monetary policy,” said Muhammad Sibtain Mustafa of Elixir Securities.

“Overall, banks continue to hold ground as investors expect a discount rate hike to favour bank profitability in the coming year,” Mustafa added.

The monetary policy was announced after the markets closed, unveiling a 50 basis points hike.

“The market remained lacklustre for most of the day where volumes also remained low amid expectations over the monetary policy to be announced later in the day. However, Engro Corporation worked contrary to the market and hit its upper circuit within five minutes of opening on the news of Economic Coordination Committee likely to approve a concessionary gas sale price for Engro Fertilizer Limited (EFL) in accordance with its gas sale agreement with Sui Northern Gas Pipelines,” said Fahad Muhammad Ali of JS Global Securities.

Trade volumes fell to 114 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 163 million shares.

Shares of 331 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day 148 stocks closed higher, 148 declined while 35 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.6 billion.

Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 12.2 million shares gaining Rs0.20 to finish at Rs11.58. It was followed by Engro Corporation with 9.3 million shares gaining Rs6.61 to close at Rs142.97 and Fauji cement with 6.2 million shares gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs12.20.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs152 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2013.

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