KARACHI: A bearish spell continued at the stock market for the third successive session on Thursday as the KSE-100 index dived nearly 600 points in intra-day trading.
The index started falling from the moment trading kicked off as investors were wary about the outcome of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting.
The ECC decision on recovering Rs10 billion from the fertiliser sector, which had earned a windfall in the wake of government subsidy, dented sentiments. Fertiliser stocks were the worst performer of the day.
During the course of trading, the KSE-100 hit an intra-day low of 41,659.26 points, before recouping some losses, but it still ended the day in the red.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 385.92 points or 0.91% to settle at 41,863.52.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said market participants were reluctant to invest throughout the session.
“Financial, cement and energy stocks cumulatively drove the market down. Selling pressure came from foreign institutions. From the banking sector, National Bank of Pakistan (+1.58%) moved up as the bank announced 1H2018 consolidated earnings per share of Rs5.95,” he said.
In the cement sector, Lucky Cement (-3.23%) and DG Khan Cement (-0.42%) lost ground. Mari Petroleum (-0.30%) from the exploration and production sector announced FY18 earnings per share of Rs6.44 with cash dividend of Rs2.50.
Major heavyweights namely Habib Bank (-1.44%), Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.60%), Engro (-3.41%), MCB Bank (-0.61%), United Bank (-0.22%) and Lucky Cement (-3.23%) cumulatively struck 181 points off the index.
“Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile and choppy with flows from local and foreign institutions providing direction,” Ladhani said.
Overall, trading volumes increased to 191.5 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 134.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.3 billion.
Shares of 367 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 114 stocks closed higher, 234 declined while 19 remained unchanged.
Nimir Resins was the volume leader with 24.3 million shares, losing Rs0.53 to close at Rs11.98. It was followed by Lotte Chemical with 11.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.11 to close at Rs14.68 and Engro Fertilizers with 9.8 million shares, losing Rs2.73 to close at Rs77.78.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs363.8 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 30th, 2018)