Market watch: Amid budget uncertainty, index closes in the red

Benchmark KSE-100 index falls 60.89 points.

Our Correspondent May 28, 2014
K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 50.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.55 to finish at Rs8.85. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Amid uncertainty surrounding the upcoming budget, institutional profit taking was witnessed at the KSE-index yesterday. The market witnessed an indecisive day as it opened in the green zone but ended in the red.  

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.21% or 60.89 points to end at 28,987.32.

Elixir Securities analyst Sibtin Mustafa said that with trading restricted to a narrow range, the index saw the turnover relatively improving as institutional activity mainly in blue chips picked up. “Although, index opened on a positive note, it failed to carry on with the momentum,” said Mustafa.

“This is a result of reported foreign institutional investor (FII) selling in key stocks namely Oil & Gas Development Company (OGDC) -1.5% and Hub Power (HUBC) -3%, dragging index to close marginally below 29,000.”

According to Mustafa, K-Electric (KEL) +6.6% topped volume charts once again as institutions continue to build positions, betting on improving company’s prospects.

Moreover, textiles particularly Nishat Mills (NML) +.1% and Nishat Chunian (NCL) 1.8% continued to hold ground over confused earnings outlook amid lack of uptick in exports and strong rupee.

Mustafa concluded that it is expected that the market will break its weeks’ long consolidation on a healthier note post budget while select interest driven by FII flows will help index inch upwards.

Arif Habib Corporation’s Ahsan Mehanti said trade was led by second and third tier stocks with limited foreign interest amid prevailing pre- budget uncertainty.

“Uncertainty remained in banking and cement sector on expected rise in taxes despite hopes for positive outcome of bilateral talks with India expected next month.”

Trade volumes rose to 220 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 163 million shares.

Shares of 378 companies were traded yesterday. At the end of the day, 176 stocks closed higher, 171 declined while 31 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.13 billion.

K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 50.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.55 to finish at Rs8.85. It was followed by Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited with 25 million shares, gaining Rs0.51 to close at Rs9.58 and Lafarge Pakistan Limited with 13.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.08 to close at Rs14.48.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs587 million during the trade session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2014.

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