Market watch: Trading remains lazy as index ends in the red

Benchmark 100-share index falls 153.14 points.

Our Correspondent May 18, 2015
Trade volumes fell to 117 million shares compared to 174 million on Friday. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: A lacklustre day at the bourse meant the index remained range-bound amid thin volumes that were lowest in terms of value since October 2014.

With the budget announcement round the corner, investors preferred staying sidelined with the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE)-100 index opening the week in the red and dipping below the 33,000-point barrier.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.46 % or 153.14 points to end at 32,886.06.

Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said equities closed negative with turnover on benchmark KSE-100 tumbling to levels last seen in October 2014. “This was a result of institutions continuing to remain sidelined ahead of the budget announcement,” said Bilwani. “The activity followed a similar pattern for a few days.”

Despite a positive open, declines followed with traders mostly on desks for presence, said Bilwani. “Cements failed to find support and traded lower while Engro Foods (EFOODS, -2.8%) tested a five-week low as upcoming budget is likely to change tax structure for the company’s key UHT milk segment.”

Meanwhile, an analyst at Topline Securities said another dull session was witnessed as clarity on many issues is awaited.

“Investors preferred to stay sidelined in absence of any positive news. Mutual funds were major sellers with net selling of $6.3 million, while companies and banks were major buyers of $4.2 million and $2.9 million, respectively.”

Trade volumes fell to 117 million shares compared to 174 million on Friday.

Shares of 330 companies were traded on Monday. Of these, 87 companies closed higher, 216 saw a decline and 27 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.2 billion.

Pakistan Refinery Limited (R) was the volume leader with 19.8 million shares, losing Rs0.56 to close at Rs36.76. It was followed by the Bank of Punjab with 10.9 million shares, losing Rs0.02 to close at Rs9.79 and K-Electric Limited with 7.1 million shares, losing Rs0.13 to close at Rs7.33.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs18 million worth of shares during the session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th,  2015.

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