KARACHI: Stocks caved into selling pressure at the Pakistan equities market on Monday in the lead of cement, steel and oil scrips.
The KSE-100 index sank to intraday low by 650 points before late recovery in select blue-chip scrips helped index close with a loss of 399.84 points (0.98 per cent) at 40,520.47.
There were a host of negative factors that kept investor interest in equities subdued. While the market worried about the looming balance of payments crisis, the air was thick with suspense over the quantum of hike in gas tariff. The Economic Coordination Committee’s approval of gas price increase, which came after the trading hours, was set to put minimum load on domestic consumers.
The concerns on the reported Public Sector Development Programme cuts, increase in regulatory and custom duties on a number of imported goods in the mini-budget anticipated to appear on Tuesday kept the market under pressure.
Due to slack interest and two holidays (Thursday and Friday) ahead, market participants mostly remained on the sidelines which resulted in thin trading activity. The traded volume fell by 7pc to 145.2m shares while value traded value slipped 22pc to Rs5.47 billion.
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Lotte Chemical led the volume with more than 23m shares changing hands; the company’s stock fell 1.59pc as it was thought to bear the brunt of gas price rise. Chemical and fertiliser sectors were down 75 points.
Cement sector remained under the hammer with Maple Leaf Cement, DG Khan Cement, Lucky Cement and Pioneer Cement closing in the red. Limited participation was witnessed in the banking sector as United Bank decreasing by 2.01pc, Habib Bank 1pc and National Bank 1pc.
Major decliners were Lucky Cement, down 2.48pc, United Bank 2.01pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 1.37pc, Dawood Hercules 3.40pc and Pakistan Oilfields 1.59pc, taking away 145 points.
(This news/article originally appeared in DAWN on September 18th, 2018)