KARACHI: The KSE-100 index lost ground in lacklustre trading on Tuesday amid investor concerns over economic uncertainty. It lost 201 points as investors either remained on the sidelines or resorted to profit-taking following a couple of positive sessions.
The market saw minor fluctuations in the first half and started slipping gradually by the second half in the wake of unimpressive earnings announcements by cement and auto companies and worries over the $2.2-billion current account deficit for July 2018.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 201.31 points or 0.47% to settle at 42,544.47.
Elixir Securities’ analyst Muhammad Arbash said equities ended negative amid dull trading. He said the market opened on a dreary note and traded in a narrow range for most part of the day.
Volumes stood low as only 75 million shares changed hands with most institutional investors refraining from participating due to lack of direction and positive triggers.
Latest data depicted an upward revision in oil reserves of Pakistan Oilfields (+1.6%) at Joya Mair field; the stock thus stood out and contributed 19 points to the upside.
Once more, according to the analyst, the volumes chart was dominated by retail plays. Agritech Limited (+8%) on speculation of allotment of subsidised LNG/gas for urea production by the ECC, followed by Siddiqsons Tin Plate (-0.9%) and Nimir Resins Limited (-5.1%) cumulatively contributed 37 million shares or 20% of the total traded volume.
“We expect tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) ECC meeting to guide market direction; we do not feel any material decisions will be taken on the energy front as the new government will need time to analyse before hurrying up on reforms,” the analyst said.
However, he added, the dire inventory position of urea meant the committee might either announce revival of closed plants via subsidised LNG supply or approve a limited quantity for import.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 183.7 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 217.6 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.7 billion.
Shares of 380 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 115 stocks closed higher, 245 declined while 20 remained unchanged.
Agritech Limited was the volume leader with 14.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.54 to close at Rs7.33. It was followed by Siddiqsons Tin Plate with 13.8 million shares, losing Rs0.18 to close at Rs20.30 and Nimir Resins with 9.5 million shares, losing Rs0.64 to close at Rs11.99.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs224.2 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
(This news/article originally appeared in The Express Tribune on August 28th, 2018)