Market watch: Stocks fall as monetary policy decision looms

Benchmark KSE-100 index drops 31.54 points.

Our Correspondent January 16, 2014
Trade volumes rose to 348 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 306 million. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.12% or 31.54 points to end at 26,730.24.

A correction was finally witnessed at the bourse where the index hit a low of 26,630 points intraday before closing at its final level.

“The day started carrying a momentum but rumours of monetary policy announcement– surprisingly at a very short notice, which was later confirmed, cut the market’s ride short at 26,900 points,” said Muhammad Raza Rawjani from Elixir Securities.

“The same also triggered some selling as market expectations on discount rate divided between status quo and a 50bps increase. Engro Corp (+1.74%) traded a decent 5.5 million shares on expectations of price run in Engro Fertilizer which will be listed tomorrow at the exchange with the ticker: EFERT.

“DG Khan Cement (+0.98%) was also among top volumes after gathering institutional interest at its technical support level of Rs90 per share. Institutional interest was also apparent in MCB Bank (-0.4%) which announced to set up a wholly-owned Islamic banking subsidiary,” he added.

Meanwhile, analyst Fahad Ali of JS Global Capital stated that after a positive opening and hitting a high of 26,900 points, profit-taking was observed where investors chose to book their gains and await the monetary policy, due to be announced today.

“Mixed sentiments were seen about the State Bank of Pakistan’s stance on the discount rate, where industry analysts are also divided among a hike and a cut in the rate.

“We expect the market to remain volatile with low volumes in the main board until the monetary policy is announced. Stocks and sectors to invest in are Karachi Electric Supply Company, sugar and insurance,” Ali said.

Trade volumes rose to 348 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 306 million.

Shares of 412 companies were traded on Thursday. At the end of the day, 158 stocks closed higher, 237 declined while 17 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.29 billion.

Jahangir Siddiqui and Company was the volume leader with 44 million shares, gaining Rs0.97 to finish at Rs11.95.It was followed by Karachi Electric Supply Company with 37 million shares, gaining Rs0.19 to close at Rs6.72 and TRG Pakistan with 23 million shares, gaining Rs0.67 to close at Rs10.69.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs183 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2014.

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