KARACHI: After a three-day winning streak, the KSE-100 Index was back to its losing ways and plunged over 600 points to fall below the 41,500 level.
Political uncertainty and profit-taking were to be blamed with the cement sector dampening mood further.
At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered a decrease of 604.35 points or 1.44% to finish at 41,483.54.
Elixir Securities, in its report, stated Pakistan equities snapped three-day gains to close lower on profit-taking that dragged benchmark KSE-100 Index to below 41,500 level, down 1.4%.
“The market opened and traded sideways for a brief period before KSE-100 Index succumbed to reported selling, both from local and foreign institutional investors,” stated Elixir.
Steel scrips grabbed attention in the morning where specifically long-steel producers such as Amreli Steels (ASTL PA +5%) and Mughal Steel (MUGHAL PA +5%) opened limit up on anti-dumping duty notification by the National Tariff Commission.
Later, cements led declines as investors booked profits after the recent gains that, notably, pushed up DG Khan Cement (DGKC PA -5%) by over 19% and Lucky Cement (LUCK PA -4.4%) by over 12%.
Meanwhile, earnings announced during the day by Pioneer Cement (PIOC PA -5%) disappointed investors and propelled the stock to hit limit down.
Among the worst performers, oils stood second in line with all names seeing a red finish despite an increase in crude prices over the weekend. Overall, mainboard names fetched limited Institutional interest while second and third tier names also saw limited activity as retail investors traded cautiously on start of futures rollover week.
“[We] expect flows both from locals and foreigners to guide market direction. Ongoing earnings season will keep investors interest intact in select names, however, activity in wider market may remain low as retail investors trade cautiously during futures rollover week,” the report added.
JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the KSE-100 index witnessed a choppy session, hitting an intra-day low of 674 points.
“The divergent trend in the trading sessions can be attributed to political uncertainty in the country,” he observed.
Selling pressure was seen in the cement sector as investors booked profit after rally witnessed at the end of last week. Major laggards of the mentioned sector were DGKC (-5%), CHCC (-4.86%), LUCK (-4.39%) and KOHC (-4.28%). PIOC (-5%) from the cement sector announced its 1QFY18 result, where the company posted an EPS of Rs1.84.
EFOODS (+3.91%) from the food sector announced its result for 9M2017, where the company posted earnings of Rs0.50/share. A rally was seen in the steel sector where ASTL (+5%), MUGHAL (+5%), CSAP (+1.34%) and DSL (+1.48%) were the major gainers of the mentioned sector.
“Moving forward, we believe rollover week will have limited upside on certain stocks and participation is also expected to remain low. Investors are recommended to trade in main board stocks and take long term positions in the same to benefit from undervalued stock prices,” the analyst added.
Overall, trading volumes fell to 153 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 261 million.
Shares of 380 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 101 stocks closed higher, 257 declined while 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.03 billion.
Dost Steels was the volume leader with 19.6 million shares, gaining Rs0.20 to close at Rs13.73. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 15.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.69 to close at Rs14.52 and Sui North Gas with 9.8 million shares, gaining Rs4.29 to close at Rs126.19.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs11 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
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Source: Tribune News | Market watch: KSE-100 falls over 600 points as positive streak ends