Market watch: KSE-100’s losing streak continues for 7th straight session

Karachi: (Staff Report) Bears continued to dominate the stock market on Friday as the benchmark index slipped deeper into the red for the seventh successive session – falling below the 29,500-point level.

Contrary to the trend, the KSE-100 index opened upwards and managed to breach the 30,000 barrier but the trend could not be sustained. Diplomatic and political concerns weighed on investor sentiment as they largely remained on the sidelines, with trading volumes dropping from the preceding session.

Although relations between India and Pakistan remained tense, mid-session support was seen on institutional interest in oversold bank and cement stocks.
Weak global crude oil prices and slump in global equities also led to the dismal performance.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 308.91 points, or 1.04%, to settle at 29,429.07 points.

According to AHL Research, the market continued to trim down, with selling pressure on bank, exploration and production (E&P), and cement stocks.

“Coming MSCI review made investors worried about selling activity from foreigners, which caused selling pressure on blue-chip stocks of bank, E&P and cement sectors.”

Mid-cap cement, steel and refinery stocks traded in the green zone. Nishat Chunian hit its upper circuit following notification of share buyback.

The cement sector led the volumes table with trading in 14.8 million shares, followed by the technology sector (9.8 million) and banks (9.5 million).

Stocks that contributed positively included Nestle (up 14 points), MCB Bank (11 points), DG Khan Cement (10 points), Kohinoor Textile Mills (5 points) and Maple Leaf Cement (5 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively included HBL (down 75 points), Oil and Gas Development Company (47 points), Pakistan Petroleum (46 points), Bank AL Habib (30 points) and Engro (29 points).

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 76.4 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 109.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.1 billion.

Shares of 321 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 170 stocks closed higher, 134 declined and 17 remained unchanged.

Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 7.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.80 to close at Rs18.04. It was followed by Engro Polymer with 5.1 million shares, losing Rs1.14 to close at Rs21.73 and TRG Pakistan with 4.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.37 to close at Rs12.69.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs125.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Reported by: Ch. Mudasar Iqbal