KARACHI: The index remained range bound ahead of the monetary policy statement, scheduled for today, where a cut of more than 50bps is expected.
Overall, the market continued its downtrend as the benchmark KSE-100 index slumped 434 points during the current week. On Friday, a positive open could not be sustained as investors remained skeptical over new tax measures in the upcoming budget.
At close on Friday, the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index showed a minute drop of 0.04% or 12.12 points at 32,605.62.
“Continuous selling by local funds and uncertainty over the upcoming budget forced investors to remain on the sideline,” said a Topline Securities analyst.
“Some improvement was seen in the share prices of oil stocks due to recovery in global crude oil prices.
Meanwhile, Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said institutional support in oil stocks after recovery in global crude prices led the index to close above session lows. “Selling pressure in blue chip stocks amid concerns for ongoing security unrest in Saudi-Yemen conflict and pre-budget uncertainty played a catalyst role in the bearish activity at the market,” he said.
During the week, negativity was also brought about by persistent selling from mutual funds amid issuance of guidelines by SECP for CPPI-based mutual funds.
Trade volumes declined to 75 million shares compared to 80 million on Thursday.
Shares of 325 companies were traded on Friday. Of these, 129 companies closed higher, 174 fell and 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.5 billion.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leaders with 4.8 million shares, losing Rs0.16 to close at Rs9.16. They were followed by Hum Network with 4.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.40 to close at Rs12.50 and K-Electric Limited with 4.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs7.46.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs46 million worth of shares during the session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2015.
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