KARACHI: The four-day winning streak came to an end as the stock market succumbed to selling pressure and dropped to finish in the red zone.
Following a volatile opening, the KSE-100 index maintained a downward trend making an intra-day low of 462 points. Investors resorted to booking profits on post budget uncertainty and lack of institutional support. Participants also awaited activity by market support funds approved by ECC. Interest was seen in the cement sector following increase in cement prices on back of recent hike in federal excise duty, which prompted investors to take positive outlook. However, a lack of positive indicators led the index to end the session in negative.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 404.13 points, or 1.14%, to settle at 35,168.82.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said equities closed Monday on a bearish note after the benchmark KSE-100 Index shed 404 points.
“The market came under duress as discussions on the budget 2019-20 took place at Parliament. Moreover, the US dollar continues to gain strength against the Pakistani rupee.
“Furthermore, Fitch Ratings has not improved Pakistan’s credit rating despite a staff-level agreement between Islamabad and the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” Mulla remarked.
Cements, E&Ps, and financials were the major laggards during Monday’s session. Mixed sentiments were seen in cements where LUCK (-2.0%) and FCCL (-2.2%) closed in the red. PPL (-1.3%) and OGDC (-1.5%) were the major laggards in the E&Ps. Commercial banks also showed weak performance where HBL (-0.4), UBL (-0.9%), MCB (-1.9%) and BAHL (-1.6%) closed in the red zone.
“We expect market to remain choppy and volatile until the budget is passed from the national assembly,” he added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 128.1 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 167.88 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs4.96 billion.
Shares of 347 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 89 stocks closed higher, 236 declined and 22 remained unchanged.
Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 13.8 million shares, gaining Rs1.08 to close at Rs26.38. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 11.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs17.75 and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 10.4 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs9.70.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs335.1 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.