Market watch: Stocks take a dive on institutional selling

Benchmark KSE-100 index falls 418.61 points.

Our Correspondent March 02, 2015
Trade volumes fell to 159 million shares compared to 208 million on Friday. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Starting off the week on a dreary note on Monday, the stock market moved southwards, led by major players including Engro Corporation.

The bourse continued its decline and ended in the red zone. The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index recorded a drop of 1.24% or 418.61 points to end at 33,213.58.

Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said that the equities slipped on the first trading day of March as institutions reportedly offloaded holdings despite positive comments by Moody’s ratings agency over the weekend.

“Engro Corp (-3.3%) led the push in early trade and gained as the company announced approval of the regulatory body for concessionary gas pricing for its listed Engro Fertilisers (+0.4%),” says Bilwani.

However, the holding company tumbled along with the wider market to settle 5.8% below the day’s high.

According to Bilwani, rumours related to urea pricing dented sentiment with Fauji Fertiliser (-2.8%) ending the day in the red while most index names closed lower on thin volumes.

“Investors that were betting on possible upside post-inflation reading were left dazed despite the Consumer Price Index beating estimates to hit an 11-year low of 3.24% year-on-year for February.”

JS Global analyst Fahad Ali said bears dominated the day. “After a positive opening, the benchmark KSE-100 index failed to maintain the momentum and saw panic selling by retail investors and institutions.”

“Engro Fertilisers remained in the limelight as Ogra approved the terms of agreement between Engro, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and Mari Petroleum for the supply of gas at a concessionary rate of $0.7 per mmbtu to the company.”

Ali said that PSO declined 1.2% as the company announced a loss of Rs3.53 per share for 2QFY15, largely due to inventory losses incurred by the company during the quarter.

Trade volumes fell to 159 million shares compared to 208 million on Friday.

Shares of 373 companies were traded. Of these, 304 declined, 54 closed higher and 15 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.3 billion.

Pak Elektron was the volume leader with 10.7 million shares, losing Rs1.25 to close at Rs59.25. It was followed by Pakistan International Bulk Terminal with 9.9 million shares, losing Rs1.23 to close at Rs33.16 and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 9.1 million shares, losing Rs0.87 to close at Rs20.25.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs409 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, March  3rd,  2015.

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