KARACHI: Pakistan equities struggled to hold on to gains on Monday and closed lower as selling in select index-heavy names pulled the benchmark index in the red.
At close, the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a fall of 0.44% or 181.59 points to end at 41,282.72.
Elixir Securities, in its report, said the turnover on the KSE-100 index showed a decline of 13% relative to the current month’s average as institutional investors preferred to remain on the sidelines amid political noise and talk of foreign selling.
“After a positive open, the wider market traded volatile and then succumbed to selling pressure as investors wary of market direction grabbed opportunity to offload their positions in risky bets,” it said.
On the main board, select financial, cement and exploration and production stocks dented sentiments with Lucky Cement (-2%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-1.6%) causing the most damage to the benchmark index.
“Recent darlings on sideboards were also out of favour, trading lacklustre and skidding lower, as locals primarily retail investors and prop books battled to find quick-gain opportunities,” said the report.
“We continue to advise caution particularly in second and third-tier names as politics and macro headwinds top news headlines. Profit-taking at highs is advised with cherry-picking below 40,500 points,” said Elixir Securities analyst Ali Raza.
Meanwhile, JS Research analyst Nabeel Haroon said the index opened on a positive note but came under selling pressure during latter hours as rising political tensions started to suppress the bulls.
Atlas Honda Limited (+3.24%) gained on the back of news that the motorcycle assembler was planning to increase its product line with an investment of around $150 million.
However, he said, the exploration and production sector lost value to close in the red zone, as crude prices declined after the release of US oil rigs and global production data.
“Moving forward, we expect the market to remain volatile in the absence of catalysts and brewing political tensions,” he said.
Trading volumes fell to 379 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 408 million.
Shares of 454 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 162 stocks closed higher, 276 declined while 16 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs12.9 billion.
The Bank of Punjab was the volume leader with 49.1 million shares, losing Rs0.97 to finish at Rs16.01. It was followed by TPL Trakker with 20.4 million shares, gaining Rs0.99 to close at Rs16.48 and TRG Pakistan with 17.4 million shares, losing Rs2.15 to close at Rs44.98.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs180 million during the trading session, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Courtesy : Express Tribune