Market watch: Political clouds hover over KSE

Benchmark KSE-100 index decreases 0.23% or 65.6 points.

Our Correspondent August 18, 2014

KARACHI: Political activity confused investors as the stock market moved directionless without triggers.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange benchmark 100-share index decreased 0.23% or 65.60 points to end at 28,852.15

Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said Pakistan equities traded volatile as news regarding ongoing protests and sit-ins kept investors confused with market struggling to find a clear direction.

“Anxiety prevailed over the ongoing standoff between PTI, PAT and ruling PML-N with the former calling for civil disobedience and asking supporters not to pay taxes,” said Bilwani. “Fear also existed of clashes with police as protesters threatened to breach the high security red zone kept investors concerned.”

“A negative opening was witnessed followed by gains on reports of foreign buying in select index names that pushed KSE-100 above 29,100. Profit-taking and lack of interest from locals wiped morning gains with benchmark settling marginally negative.

“Turnover in broader market was higher by 25% against Friday with Pakistan Petroleum (PPL)-1.35%, National Bank (NBP) -0.5% and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) PA +0.6% attracting attention at lows.

JS Global analyst Ovais Ahsan also said that the protest in the capital by the two political parties preyed on sentiment as investors remained cautious with no apparent compromise emerging from either the government or the protesters.

“The motor sector also moved against the tide with Indus Motors 1.9% and Pak Suzuki Motors 2.2% gaining on the back of launching new models recently and increased procurement by regional governments.”

Trade volumes rose to 116 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 104 million.

Shares of 317 companies were traded on Monday. Share prices of 163 companies declined, 136 closed higher while 18 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.3billion.

The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 14.7 million shares that remained constant at Rs8.18. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 6.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.43 to close at Rs27.97 and Lafarge Pakistan Limited with 6 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs15.61.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs46.6 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2014.

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