KARACHI: The stock market experienced an extremely volatile session on Wednesday as investors booked profits in the face of political uncertainty in the country.
The day started on a negative note and the bourse shed over 350 points in the first hour of trading. From this point, the index oscillated between red and green zones before closing marginally higher.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s recommendation for an increase of up to Rs13 in petroleum product prices seemed to have dented investor sentiments. Stocks of exploration and production (E&P) companies bore the brunt of the impact of the proposal and the entire sector remained in the red.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 40.33 points or 0.10% to settle at 41,649.36.
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Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the stock market had a choppy session during which the KSE-100 index oscillated between +216 points and -372 points.
“Investors were mainly seen booking profits but at the same time they switched positions from one stock and sector to another,” the report said. “Steel and cement shares drew investor interest whereas financial and E&P stocks lagged behind.”
The E&P sector recorded decent volumes, mainly in Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum Limited, but stock prices dropped on the back of falling international crude oil prices.
Sectors contributing positively to the index included fertiliser (+29 points), tobacco (+24 points), transport (+21 points) and pharmaceutical (+20 points) whereas E&P (-30 points) and chemical (-20 points) sectors contributed negatively.
Stocks that contributed positively included Pakistan Tobacco (+24 points), Searle (+22 points) and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (+21 points) whereas shares that contributed negatively were Lucky Cement (-27 points), Pakistan Petroleum (-20 points) and UBL (-16 points), it added.
Elixir Securities’ analyst Murtaza Jafar said the benchmark KSE-100 index moved between both sides of the fence to finally close in the black at 41,649.
Most of the trading activity was witnessed in retail names while only DG Khan Cement (+0.94%) managed to shine among blue chips in volume leaders with over 11.8 million shares changing hands.
Maple Leaf Cement (+4.98%) and Cherat Cement (+4.78%) were among best performers in the cement sector.
“Moving forward, developments emerging from the prime minister’s visit to China will play a significant role in the broader market direction,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 285.2 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 327.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs11.3 billion.
Shares of 382 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 171 stocks closed higher, 196 declined and 15 remained unchanged.
Pakistan International Bulk Terminal was the volume leader with 20.8 million shares, gaining one rupee to close at Rs12.36. It was followed by K-Electric with 20 million shares, gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs6.30 and Shabbir Tiles XD with 18.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.83 to close at Rs17.97.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs137.4 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 Oct 31st, 2018)