Market watch: Stocks record biggest drop since December 2014

Benchmark KSE-100 index falls 417 points.

Our Correspondent February 12, 2015
Benchmark Jahangir Siddiqui and Company was the volume leader with 41.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.42 to close at Rs23.02. PHOTO: AFp

KARACHI: Continuing its losing streak, the stock market yet again had a bearish day with the trading session ending with a massive drop.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended Thursday’s trading with a fall of 1.22% or 417.57 points at 33,786.42.

Elixir Securities analyst Mohammad Zain said that equities closed negative for the sixth consecutive session with the benchmark index recording the biggest drop of 417 points in a day since December 2014.

“Equities opened flat and struggled to find strength in the absence of buyers as Engro Corporation (-2.4%) nearly hit the lower price limit,” said Zain. “It was following its subsidy Engro Fertilizers on rumours of a delay in concessionary gas supply.”

Moreover, reports of foreign selling kept the wider market under pressure, however, late institutional interest rescued the falling index from the 33,500 level, he added.

“Major buying at lows was witnessed in cement, namely Lucky Cement (-0.69%), DG Khan Cement (-1.67%) and Cherat Cement (-1.03%).”

JS Global analyst Muhammad Mobeen said that stocks across the board experienced heavy selling as investors opted to book profits due to the uncertainty going forward.

“Honda Atlas, however, continued its euphoric growth and reached the second consecutive upper circuit.”

Investor interest was hit by continuous foreign outflows with fears of further selling from them, said Mobeen.

“Within the banking sector, MCB Bank announced earnings per share of Rs21.85 (+13% year-on-year) in line with JS expectations of Rs21.95. The bank remains one of the preferred stocks within the sector.”

Trade volumes increased to 324 million shares compared to 258 million on Wednesday.

Shares of 381 companies were traded. Of these, 266 declined, 89 closed higher and 26 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs19 billion.

Jahangir Siddiqui and Company was the volume leader with 41.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.42 to close at Rs23.02. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 23.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.22 to close at Rs58.35 and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal with 15.9 million shares, losing Rs1.91 to close at Rs38.02.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs200 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, February 13th,  2015.

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