The bourse witnessed a volatile session as bulls gained momentum at the start of the day before profit-taking was witnessed.
At close, the KSE benchmark 100-share index gained 0.03% or 9.32 points to end at 30,474.75.
“The index closed little changed, after gaining +0.57% ahead of the long weekend,” said Fareesa Baig of Elixir Securities. “Gains came with institutions active in energy names to the likes of Oil and Gas Development (OGDC PA +0.55%) and Pakistan State Oil (PSO PA +0.26%), while selective interest was also witnessed in financials,” she said.
“However, news with respect to the Lafarge Cement (LPCL PA +1.27%) sale broke the momentum and pushed KSE-100 to close near flat with Lucky Cement (LUCK PA -2.4%), Kohat Cement (KOHC PA -5%), Pioneer Cement (PIOC PA -5%) and Maple Leaf (MLCF PA -3.7%) in red while the entire sector was down by 1.7%.
“Investors in the short term remain concerned over threat to the cartel, as the earlier rumoured acquirer, DG Khan Cement (DGKC PA -0.48%), will most likely continue with its expansion plans in the South.”
Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Khalil Usmani said that Lafarge issued a notice to KSE confirming the sale of its cement operations in Pakistan for a total enterprise value of $329 million to Bestway Cement. “It created a bearish trend as acquisition price came below investors’ expectations,” he said.
“The textile sector remained under pressure despite 5.3%YoY growth in textile exports during FY14.
“We favour banking and E&P stocks and see selective interest ahead of the upcoming Eid Holidays, however, remain optimistic and expect KSE-100 index to test highs on thin volumes,” Usmani concluded.
Trade volumes fell to 218 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 131 million.
Shares of 316 companies were traded on Thursday. At the end of the day, 114 stocks closed higher, 180 declined while 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.2 billion.
Lafarge Pakistan was the volume leader with 58.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.21 to finish at Rs16.73. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 32.2 million shares, losing Rs1.24 to close at Rs32.14 and Fauji Cement with 14.4 million shares, losing Rs0.10 to close at Rs20.85.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs1083 million worth of shares, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2014.
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