Market watch: Institutions step in to save index’s further fall

Benchmark KSE-100 index drops 222.03 points

Our Correspondent August 20, 2014


The index witnessed another volatile day, losing over 550 points midway through Tuesday before institutional buying helped the index recover.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange benchmark 100-share index decreased 0.77% or 222.03 points to end at 28,630.12.

Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said the stocks opened negative on investors’ anxiety over the prevailing political situation.  “More importantly, fear prevailed over clashes between protesters in Islamabad and police as marchers planned to move closer to the Parliament building in the red zone,” said Bilwani.

“However, media reports of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif allowing the demonstration and asking police not to use force against peaceful demonstrators helped gain confidence with index recovering and most stocks managing to close at day highs,” he said.

“Interestingly, volumes on downturn dried out and market did cheer earnings particularly Hub Power (HUBC PA +2.5%) as results met estimates and payout exceeded expectations.

“Bank Alfalah (BAFL PA +0.2%) attracted attention and was one of the volume leaders as the bank announced earnings in line with its estimates.

“We expect events in Islamabad to guide market direction as investors hope for an early resolution to the ongoing crisis with no major unrest,” Bilwani concluded.

Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Ovais Ahsan said that Pakistan Petroleum (-1.4%) was the major index mover followed by MCB Bank (-0.8%) as volumes remained below average.

“The cement sector dodged the overall trend with (MLCF +1.6%) and Cherat Cement (+3.4%) posting gains on news that the government has released funds for development of major motorways.

“Packages (+5%) was a surprise gainer as the company offers relatively cheap P/E multiples with a strong correlation to consumer companies which also offers investors an exposure to prime real estate,” he said.

Trade volumes fell to 101 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 116 million.

Shares of 331 companies were traded on Tuesday. Share prices of 237 companies declined, 80 closed higher while 14 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.2 billion.

JS Bank Limited was the volume leader with 12.3 million shares, losing Rs0.01 to close at Rs4.87. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 11.2 million shares, losing Rs1.26 to close at Rs26.71 and Lafarge Pakistan Limited with 9 million shares, losing Rs0.35 to close at Rs15.26.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs465 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2014.

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