Market watch: Index heals but continues to bleed red

Benchmark index loses 73.36 points.

Our Correspondent March 20, 2015
Trade volumes clocked up at 107 million shares while the value traded amounted to Rs6.1 billion.PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: After a tumultuous day on Wednesday, when the benchmark index shed over 800 points, the index posted a slight recovery. However, its ride in the red continued as banking sector took the hit on Thursday.

At close on Thursday, the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE)-100 Index declined 0.23% or 73.36 points, to close at 31,451.62.

Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said Pakistan equities traded thin volumes. “This was a result of investors resisting buying and preferring to wait for clarity on foreign flows,” said Bilwani. “Likely rate cut over the weekend and attractive valuations failed to generate excitement with participants recovering the bloodbath as less than $50 million worth of shares changed hands on KSE100.

“Banks bore the brunt and tested fresh recent lows after debt market signals a possible 100bps cut in benchmark interest rate. “MCB Bank (MCB, -2.5 %,) United Bank (UBL, -2.1%) and National Bank (NBP,-3.7%).

“Cements, on the other hand, showed signs of recovery on bets on rate cut and better local off take going forward with Lucky Cement (LUCK, +1.8%), DG Khan (DGKC, +1.1%) and Maple Leaf Cement (MLCF,+2.4%).”

Bilwani concluded that sentiment-driver Engro Corporation (ENGRO, +2.4%) helped confidence as stock bounced after falling over 11% from its peak in the last 13 trading days.

On the other hand, JS Global analyst Muhammad Mobeen said investor sentiment remains uncertain after the index’s tumble which led to a minimum of 107 million shares being traded.

Adamjee Insurance Company Limited dipped (-4.6%) following its year-end result, announcing earnings per share of Rs5.4 and dividend per share of Rs1.5, and failure to declare any bonus against market expectations.

Trade volumes clocked up at 107 million shares while the value traded amounted to Rs6.1 billion.

Shares of 348 companies were traded on Thursday. At the end of the day, 167 stocks closed higher, 154 declined while the value of 27 stocks remained unchanged.

Pak Elektron was the volume leader with 15 million shares, losing Rs1.96 to close at Rs48.27. It was followed by Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 7.7 million shares, losing Rs0.80 to close at Rs15.02 and Maple Leaf Cement with 6 million shares, gaining Rs1.24 to close at Rs51.86.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs45.1 million during the session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2015.

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