Market watch: KSE-100 loses 131 points in volatile session

KARACHI: The benchmark KSE-100 index on Thursday extended losses in a volatile session and shed 131 points as investors resorted to profit-booking after gains a day earlier.

Investor sentiment was dampened further after the Asian Development Bank revised down Pakistan’s growth expectation for FY20 to 2.8%. Owing to the selling pressure, stocks traded in a narrow band throughout the day.

After a brief open in the positive zone, investors started offloading stocks and the index spiralled downwards. Volatility persisted for most part of the day, which resulted in multiple dips and rises. A buying spree towards the end of the session partially wiped off the losses.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share index recorded a decrease of 131.32 points, or 0.42%, to settle at 31,433.89 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market traded in a narrow range in the past one week without breaching the 31,000-point level, although in recent sessions the index largely adjusted downwards.

“Selling pressure was evident in index heavyweights like Engro, Lucky Cement, Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Petroleum, HBL and UBL, which kept any increase firmly in check,” it said.

Before close, stock prices of K-Electric, The Bank of Punjab, Lucky Cement and Oil and Gas Development Company spiked.

The power sector performed well in terms of volumes with trading in 34.5 million shares. Of that, K-Electric alone had trading in 31.4 million shares.

It was followed by the cement sector (17.4 million shares) and technology sector (14.9 million).

Among individual stocks, WorldCall Telecom and Maple Leaf Cement trailed K-Electric with trading in 11.8 million and 10.4 million shares respectively, the report added.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said another bleak session was witnessed at the bourse as the benchmark KSE-100 index hit an intraday low of -293 points and closed at 31,434, down 131 points.

Traded volumes increased 19% day-on-day to 124 million shares. Top volume leaders were K-Electric (+6.3%), WorldCall Telecom (+2.8%) and Maple Leaf Cement (+4.4%).

On the news front, the cut-off yields on treasury bills edged down at an auction on Wednesday, driven lower by a raft of positive economic data and expectations of slowing inflation numbers.

The cement sector experienced mixed sentiment as DG Khan Cement (+2.4%), Maple Leaf Cement (+4.4%) and Pioneer Cement (+1.5%) remained in the green region whereas Lucky Cement (-0.7%) and Fauji Cement (-0.1%) were in the red.

Selling pressure was noted in the banking space where Bank Alfalah (-2.6%), HBL (-2.5%), Meezan Bank (-1%) and UBL (-0.3%) lost ground.

“Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile as pressure is likely to persist due to the rollover week while consolidation is likely to continue,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes increased to 124.5 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 104.8 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.5 billion.

Shares of 359 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 146 stocks closed higher, 186 declined and 27 remained unchanged.

K-Electric was the volume leader with 31.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.21 to close at Rs3.52. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 11.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs1.11 and Maple Leaf Cement with 10.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.6 to close at Rs14.39.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs430.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

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