KARACHI: After a brief run of positivity, stocks continued to bleed with the KSE-100 Index finishing below the 45,000-point level amid low volumes.
Uncertainty over the rupee, which regained its strength on Thursday, and lack of clarity on the political front meant buyers remained on the sidelines.
At close of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index finished 590.31 points or 1.30% lower to end at 44,823.11.
Elixir Securities, in its report, stated Pakistan equities slipped again as losses in key index stocks dragged the index to settle below 45,000.
“The day kicked off flat with little activity in the wider market. The index hovered near Wednesday’s close, but a sharp recovery in the rupee forced investors to abandon inverse-dollar plays,” the report said.
Finance minister’s comments that highlighted displeasure over the dip in rupee and commitment to fill the governor central bank vacancy as early as this week helped the currency bounce with PKR-USD interbank rate closing at 105.70, recovering 2% day-on-day (DoD).
“Almost all major sectors closed in the red with notable index names including Lucky Cement LUCK PA -2.4%, Hub Power HUBC PA -2.3%, Fauji Fertilizer FFC PA -3.4%, Pakistan Oilfields POL PA -2.5% contributing most to declines. Sideboards plays too, struggled for direction and closed mostly lower with retail participation remaining thin.
“With no near-term positive triggers in sight and uncertain political environment, we see a volatile market and KSE-100 Index hovering in a range of 1,500-2,000 points,” the report added.
JS Global analyst Arhum Ghous said that another bleak session was witnessed at the local bourse as the benchmark KSE-100 index traded between an intraday high of +166 points and intraday low of -853 points.
“Pressure in the market was on the back of investor scepticism regarding the political scenario,” he stated, adding that Dar’s media talk and clarification of 3% depreciation of PKR against the greenback, citing miscommunication among a few individuals, caused this rapid move.
Volumes stood low at 146 million shares. Major laggards of the index were LUCK (-2.43%), HUBC (-2.28%) and FFC (-3.36%).
E&P sector lost value to close in the red zone on back of oil prices retreating by about four percent, ending their longest bull-run in more than five years. POL (-2.50%) and PPL (-1.07%) were the major looser of the sector. Selling pressure was seen in the cement sector where POIC (-4.95%), LUCK (-2.43%) and DGKC (-1.66%) lost value to close in the red trajectory.
“Moving forward, we recommend investors to hold their long-term positions, while reduce short-term holdings on strength until clarity on political front emerges,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 146 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 204 million.
Shares of 343 companies were traded. At the end of the day, value of 67 stocks closed higher, 265 declined while 11 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.39 billion.
TRG Pakistan was the volume leader with 17.9 million shares, losing Rs1.79 to close at Rs34.35. It was followed by Aisha Steel Mill with 7.89 million shares, gaining Rs0.16 to close at Rs18.87 and Engro Polymer with 6.49 million shares, losing Rs1.10 to close at Rs33.44.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs227 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
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