KARACHI: The equities closed in the red after listless trading on Wednesday with the benchmark testing the 31,000 level in the absence of buyers. Turnover fell nearly 30% compared to the previous week’s average.
At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) 100-Share Index recorded a fall of 0.72% or 224.22 points at 31,086.51.
Elixir Securities analyst Faisal Bilwani said foreign investors were trying to offload few illiquid names and there were no reports of large quantities on offer from the investors. Despite indications of the exit of foreign investors, locals were in no rush to buy at current levels and continued to wait for clarity on the direction of investment flows.
“Retail-driven names like Pak Electron (PAEL -4.6%) and Hascol Petroleum (Hascol -5%) hit lower limits near close of day on rumours of broker’s shedding margin holdings,” said Bilwani.
“There is expectation of some recovery in the wider market with yield plays attracting fresh flows, however, it is unlikely to record aggressive local institutional participation till foreigners emerge as net buyers.”
Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said cement stocks failed to benefit from the recent discount rate cut, while the textile sector remained under pressure as its exports fell 2.9% month-on-month and 10% year-on-year in February 2015.
“The discount rate cut dampened banking returns, evident from a run on most banking stocks through the day’s trade.”
Trade volumes fell to 99 million shares compared to 128 million on Tuesday.
Shares of 330 companies were traded. Of these, 231 companies declined, 70 closed higher and 29 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.1 billion.
Pak Elektron was the volume leader with nine million shares, losing Rs2.33 to close at Rs48.39. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 6.4 million shares, losing Rs1.53 to close at Rs51.36 and K-Electric Limited with 5.4 million shares, losing Rs0.14 to close at Rs7.01.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs107 million worth of shares during the session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2015.
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