Market watch: Foreigner buying provides cushion

Benchmark KSE-100 index increases 28.58 points.

Our Correspondent August 05, 2014

KARACHI: Despite a positive start, the index closed little changed with participants squaring positions and booking day gains as political noise spoiled the mood.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange benchmark 100-share index rose 0.10% or 28.58 points to end at 29,676.41.

“Volumes were in select names and broader market tracked flows with oil stocks leading the board,” said Faisal Bilwani of Elixir Securities.

“Pakistan Petroleum (PPL PA +1%) gained on hydrocarbon discovery while Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC PA +0.9) also closed positive after announcing FY14 earnings that were up by over 36% compared to last year.

“Engro Foods (EFOODS PA +0.5%) was volatile as the company announced half yearly earnings that were below estimates.

“We see lacklustre trading with select interest as current earnings season remains more or less overshadowed by local politics, however, flows from foreigners continue to provide some cushion,” concluded Bilwani.

Meanwhile, Ovais Ahsan of JS Global said the initial intra-day gains were though lost with participants concerned over the political situation.

“The cement sector remained under selling pressure as recent announcements of capacity expansion fuelled concerns over price of the building material going forward.

“Cherat Cement (-5%) led the decline in the sector together with DG Khan cement (-2.71%) and Lucky Cement (-0.77%) which were major losers of the day.

“OGDC (+0.87%) was the leading mover of the day as it reported its full year FY14 EPS of Rs28.81 showing an impressive year-on-year growth of 37% mainly driven by a 42% decline in exploration expenses and a 15% growth in revenues,” said Ahsan.

Trade volumes decreased to 132 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 181 million.

Shares of 322 companies were traded on Tuesday. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.7 billion. Askari Bank was the volume leader with 16.7 million shares, losing Rs0.17 to finish at Rs22.16. It was followed by Lafarge Pakistan with 11.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs15.53 and Engro Fertilizer Limited with 5.9 million shares, gained Rs2.64 to close at Rs55.76.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs353 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, August 6th, 2014.

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