Market watch: Caution prevails again as political tension mounts

Benchmark KSE-100 index falls 156.54 points

Our Correspondent August 08, 2014


The index slipped 160 points and wiped all of Thursday’s gains to close the day in the red as investors remained apprehensive over the prevailing political situation.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange benchmark 100-share index fell 0.53% or 156.54 points to end at 29,380.5.

“Selling in regional markets further dented sentiments pressing on locals to square positions before the weekend that will surely be active on the political front,” said Harris Ahmed Batla of Elixir Securities.

“Rumours of a stay order against Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) provided much-needed recovery to recent laggards Engro Fertilizers (EFERT PA +2.4%) and Nishat Mills (NML PA +1%) that both gained with former leading volumes.

“Moreover, financials continued to attract local interest ahead of earning announcements, closing flat.

“Clarity on local politics and foreign flows are likely to guide the direction in the coming week. We recommend accumulating HUBC, NML, OGDC, BAFL and EFERT,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Syed Faran Rizvi of JS Global said investors were looking to move on from political apprehension. “Investors believe that market has already discounted the ongoing political uncertainty, consequently support was witnessed in various stocks,” said Rizvi.

“We expect the market to remain lacklustre as the ongoing political situation remains tense. We recommend investor to start accumulating at these levels.”

Trade volumes fell to 71 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 121 million.

Shares of 314 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day, 106 stocks closed higher, 188 declined while 20 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.1 billion.

Engro Fertilizer Limited was the volume leader with 8.3 million shares, gaining Rs1.35 to finish at Rs57.13. It was followed by Lafarge Pakistan with 6.4 million shares, losing Rs0.21 to close at Rs15.60 and National Bank with 3 million shares, losing Rs0.49 to close at Rs60.13.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs41 million during the trade session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2014.

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