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Gloomy trend persists on stock market

KARACHI: Three dull trading sessions outnumbered two brighter ones on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in the outgoing week, pushing the KSE-100 index further down by 267 points (0.6 per cent) to settle at 47,889.

In particular, the spectacular rally of 533 points on Friday helped index pare off the week’s losses. Investors remained on the periphery anxiously awaiting the verdict on the Panamagate case. Individual investors with small means eagerly looked forward to the implementation of revised leverage product.

Foreign investors were buyers of net $9.3 million worth stocks during the week as against sale of $19m the preceding week with most of the buying concentrated in banks ($5.9m), E&P ($1.8m) and fertilisers ($1.8m). Textiles saw outflow of $0.8m.

Among local participants, banks were the biggest sellers of shares amounting to $16.8m, which was partly absorbed by mutual funds, which accumulated equity worth $5.61m.

Average daily volume and value shrank week-on-week 37pc and 26pc respectively. Volume leaders were: Aisha Steels 50.62m shares; Azgard Nine 48.30m; BOP 40.23m; BYCO 39.30m and TRG 37.75m shares.

Among sectors, E&P stocks rose 2.5pc contributing 108 points to the index in the wake of oil prices climbing by 2pc over the previous week with further gains visualised due to US attack in Syria sending shock waves through global markets and raising concerns that the conflict could spillover in the oil-rich region.

Cements were other major gainers by 47 points due to robust despatch figures for March, suggesting growth of 10.6pc.

In the automobile segment, which remained buoyant with addition of 32 points, Indus Motors led the gainers, followed by Honda Cars.

On the flip side, commercial banks fell 2.5pc week-on-week came under pressure as Lahore High Court directed National Bank to release pension benefits worth around Rs47.7bn.

The bank has subsequently challenged the decision.

Overall, banks, engineering and personal goods (textiles) were among losers.

Among stocks, biggest laggards for the week were Engro down 3.6pc and NBP 9.3pc. Other top drags on the index were MCB down by 3.1pc, FFC 3pc and HBL 0.9pc. Major gainers were led by Lucky Cement up 3.5pc, UBL 3.2pc, OGDC 2.6pc, PPL 2.7pc and Nestle 2.3pc. SSGC, Indus Motors, MEBL and HCAR were other steady performers.

News impacting market included: IMF projection of 5-6pc economic growth for Pakistan in the current fiscal year; Asian Development Bank forecast of country’s fiscal deficit at 3.8pc in FY17; CPI inflation for March hitting two-year high at 4.9pc on surging food prices an cotton production up 9.9pc to 10.73m cotton bales year-to-date.

OUTLOOK: Short-term targets for the market are believed to remain limited, which will keep volumes in check next week. Yet most market gurus are confident that going forward index could climb as investors summon confidence to go long in the wake of earnings accretion, expected foreign portfolio inflows near the MSCI EM official reclassification review in May and consistent pace of CPEC projects.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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