Market watch: Index slips in the negative, nears 35,500

Benchmark KSE-100 index falls 349.28 points

Our Correspondent August 18, 2015
Benchmark KSE-100 index falls 349.28 points. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: A long weekend did not do much for investor-interest as the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE)-100 index ended near the 35,500-point level with the oil sector proving to be a major reason for the lacklustre response.

Most sectors remained under pressure with cement, pharmaceutical and auto also turning in the negative.

At close, the KSE-100 index fell 0.97% or 349.28 points to end at 35,588.05

Elixir Securities Faisal Bilwani said Pakistan equities closed negative with oil stocks leading the decline. “Investors continued to remain negative on outlook as international oil price remained low,” said Bilwani. “Oil and gas development corporation (OGDC,- 3.7%) closed at levels last seen in July 2012 while Pakistan Petroleum (PPL, -3%) also ended the day negative ahead of FY15 earnings due next Monday.”

Bilwani said overall, participants were anxious as volatility in regional markets and slipping regional currencies fueled concerns of possible depreciation in rupee.

“ K-Electric (KEL,+1.3%) that traded near 35% of total volumes on KSE-100 (excluding 20 million shares off market) closed positive as locals absorbed reported foreign selling.

“Pharmas traded against broader market direction to add to recent gains on earnings, however, cements and autos ended lower with latter on ambiguity over auto policy.”

Meanwhile, an analyst at Topline Securities also blamed low international oil prices as the reason behind the market sentiment remaining dreary.

“Profit taking was seen in index heavy weight stocks like OGDC, HBL, PPL and MCB which negatively affected the market by 170 points.

“Plant expansion announcement by Attock Cement Pakistan in the last trading session kept cement stocks under pressure despite better FY15 result posted by Cherat Cemant Limited,” said the analyst.

Trade volumes fell to 347 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 380 million shares.

Shares of 372 companies were traded on Monday. At the end of the day, 123 stocks closed higher, 226 declined while 23 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11 billion.

Silk Bank (R) was the volume leader with 86.7 million shares losing Rs0.04 to finish at Rs0.07. It was followed by K-Electric with 55.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.11 to close at Rs8.53 and Sui Northern Gas Limited with 14.7 million shares, losing Rs0.52 to close at Rs35.86.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs399 million during the trade session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th,  2015.

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