Equities traded range bound albeit in the green as local investors continued to remain selective ahead of earning announcements.
At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index rose 0.31% or 92.20 points to end at 29,776.17.
Elixir Securities analyst Naveen Yaseen said that the day’s surprise was Karachi Electric (KEL PA -4.2%) that remained under pressure on rumours of sponsors offloading their stake.
“Cement names such as Cherat Cement (CHCC +5%) and Kohat Cement (KOHC +0.95%) stayed strong with former closing at its upper price limit in anticipation of stellar earnings and payout,” said Yaseen. “Whereas Pioneer Cement (PIOC -1.78%) witnessed profit taking after having appreciated by approximately 11.5% this week alone.”
The analyst further added that attracting investor interest were financials such as Bank Al Habib (BAHL +3.08%) and United Bank (UBL +1.82%), with the latter staying strong despite post-privatisation selling.
“Despite the optimism, uncertainty regarding politics remains dominant in setting the mood for local institutions whereas earning announcements to likely present triggers for blue chips.”
Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Syed Faran Rizvi said that the market is trading near its previous high and its third top, where the market is forming a lower high formation. “We expect the market to trade above 29,900 targeting 31,000, with improved investor activity,” he said. “We recommend hold stance at current levels.”
Trade volumes slightly rose to 112 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 107 million.
Shares of 332 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day, 128 stocks closed higher, 172 declined, while 32 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.11 billion.
K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 12.2 million shares, declining Rs0.33 to finish at Rs7.50. It was followed by Fauji Cement with 7.94 million shares, gaining Rs0.25 to close at Rs20.20 and Lafarge Pakistan Cement with 7.69 million shares, declining Rs0.18 to close at Rs15.92.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs860 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2014.
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