Market watch: Index ends in the black, uncertainty persists

Benchmark KSE-100 index increases 34.72 points.

Our Correspondent August 20, 2014


Equities underwent a roller coaster ride as news flow on the political front kept investors at bay.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange benchmark 100-share index increased 0.12% or 34.72 points to end at 28,664.84.

Elixir Securities Analyst Faisal Bilwani said that the index swung from red to black as investors remained sensitive to developments in Islamabad.

“Rumours of Prime Minister deciding to meet Imran Khan to end the deadlock pushed market to test 28,900. However, a clarification that no such offer was made wiped most of the gains halfway,” said Bilwani.

“Media reports towards the close of trading suggested Imran accepted the offer to negotiate. This helped push the market up on hopes of an early resolution.

“While participants tracked political developments, Engro Corp (ENGRO PA’s) lower-than-estimated earnings, due to higher tax charge and finance cost, pulled stock to levels last seen in February this year with surprise payout after a gap of almost three years failing to pacify investors.

“Stocks will trade volatile but any positives from possible talks between the parties will push market to test new highs with local institutions rushing to cover positions sold earlier on fear of violent protests and threat to democratic setup,” concluded Bilwani.

Meanwhile, JS Global Analyst Fahad Ali said the market remained in a confused state, recommending investors to remain defensive until the political stand-off has finished.

Trade volumes rose to 107 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 101 million.

Shares of 309 companies were traded on Wednesday. Share prices of 120 companies declined, 167 closed higher while 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.2 billion.

Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 14.7 million shares, losing Rs0.72 to close at Rs19.17. It was followed by the Bank of Punjab with 10.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.11 to close at Rs8.07 and Pakistan Elektron Limited with 8.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.9 to close at Rs28.51.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs20.9 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2014.

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