KARACHI: The KSE 100-share Index continued to march downwards for the third straight trading session on Friday and lost close to 600 points.
The market opened positive with a rise of 73 points, but it failed to sustain the momentum and started to descend. The index plunged almost 700 points in intra-day trading, after which it staged a brief recovery.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a fall of 584.17 points or 1.23% to close at 46,858.56.
Elixir Securities, in its report, stated that Pakistan equities extended losses and closed the last working day of the week down another 1.2% on reported institutional selling.
Following a sideways opening, the bourse declined steadily on dull activity with volumes in the wider market being fewer than 150 million shares.
“No immediate positive triggers, prevailing political tension and sizeable net outflow of foreign investors on Thursday restricted the participation of value-hunters and pushed notable index names across major sectors to drift lower,” stated the report.
“Reports of further foreign selling due to FTSE rebalancing also dashed any hopes of recovery during the day and the benchmark index broke below the 47,000 support to settle near 46,800, its lowest in almost six months.”
Habib Bank (HBL, -2.7%), Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC, -3.6%) and Pakistan Petroleum (PPL, -3.9%) were the major laggards while Lucky Cement (+0.5%) emerged as the top gainer.
“[We] see flows continuing to guide the market albeit on low volumes as prevailing political noise and upcoming long Eid holidays should be keeping most investors on the sidelines,” the report added.
JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said the KSE-100 index closed in the red zone for the third consecutive day at 46,859, 584 points below the previous trading session.
“Negativity in the market was due to noise in the political environment, declining foreign currency reserves and lower crude oil prices,” he said.
The market lacked trading volumes with only 130 million shares traded throughout the day as compared to 355 million in the previous trading day. The decline in volumes came as Power Cement (right shares) ended to trade in the stock exchange.
Commercial banks led the market in terms of volumes with approximately 35 million shares changing hands.
“Commercial bank heavyweights including HBL (-2.74%), United Bank (-1.49%), Allied Bank (-1.67%) and National Bank (-3.50%) cumulatively contributed -159 points to the KSE-100 index,” Ghous said.
Declining oil prices resulted in sharp declines in oil stocks among which OGDC (-3.55%), Pakistan Oilfields (-1.14%) and PPL (-3.91) contributed 138 negative points altogether.
WorldCall Telecom (+10.25%) was the highest traded stock for the day in which 12 million shares were traded.
“Moving forward, investors are recommended to trade cautiously, reduce short-term positions on strength and await clarity on prevailing political issues,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 129 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 355 million.
Shares of 319 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 98 stocks closed higher and 200 declined while 21 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.5 billion.
The Bank of Punjab (R) was the volume leader with 18.6 million shares, losing Rs0.09 to close at Rs0.20. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 12.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.33 to close at Rs3.55 and K-Electric with 10.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.11 to close at Rs7.05.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs1.049 billion during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.