Market watch: Lower volume but a higher index

Benchmark KSE-100 index rises 102.37 points.

Our Correspondent January 13, 2014
Trade volumes fell to 193 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 229 million. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: The index continued to inch up and closed at yet another record high near 26,600. However, volumes remained low on account of the two-day holiday during the week.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index rose 0.39% or 102.37 points to end at 26,590.69.

“Investors were highly selective in early trade and possibly decided to make any major move post the holiday,” said Faisal Bilwani of Elixir Securities. “However, reports of foreigners buying across the board with index names mainly the target changed the mood and pushed KSE100 to test 26,600.”

“Fertilisers, as expected, closed in red on weekend news of downward adjustment in urea prices after talks between urea makers and government (Engro -.3%, -FFC PA -.36%, FFBL -.9%).”

Meanwhile, Ovais Ahsan of JS Global Capital said the market continued to rally into uncharted territory driven by Pakistan State Oil (+2.8%), Nestle (+3.9%) and Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC +3.9%).

“PSO rallied on expectation that dealer margins for OMCs would be hiked in the upcoming Economic Coordination Committee meeting this Wednesday.

“Consumer companies continued to buzz with foreign interest as Nestle Pakistan led the sector, while National Foods (+4.9%) and Murree Brewery (+5.0%) continued to spiral upwards. Utility giant KESC +3.9% rallied to a four-month high on approval of the SECP approving a Rs6 billion Islamic bond,” Ahsan said.

Trade volumes fell to 193 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 229 million.

Shares of 410 companies were traded on Monday. At the end of the day, 247 stocks closed higher, 149 declined while 14 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.9 billion.

KESC was the volume leader with 22.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.24 to finish at Rs6.44, Lafarge Pakistan followed remaining steady with 11.2 million shares with the closing price at Rs10.91 and Dewan Cement with 6.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.24 to close at Rs7.74.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs100 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2014.

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