The stock market continued its downward march for a second day on Friday owing to weak cues coupled with global economic headwinds.

Weakening oil prices in the international market fuelled the bearish momentum at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). Oil prices fell as concerns about Chinese cities in lockdown due to virus outbreaks tempered a rally.

Stocks remained under pressure throughout the day due to a sombre investment climate as investors preferred to remain on the sidelines ahead of earnings season and monetary policy announcement in the second half of January.

The benchmark KSE-100 index opened up but then it went south and maintained the trend despite brief spikes. The downward trend got steeper in second session of the day and the bourse failed to sustain the 46,000-point mark crossed in the first session.

At close, the KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 58.35 points, or 0.13%, to settle at 45,931 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market traded in a narrow range of -114 points and +188 points. It closed lower by 58 points.

Selling activity was observed almost across the board but more prominent sectors were cement, banking and oil and gas marketing. However, the engineering (steel) sector performed relatively well on the back of expectation of increase in product prices, it added.

Sectors contributing to the performance included banking (-50 points), cement (-33 points), fertiliser (-20 points), tobacco (-18 points) and chemical (-16 points).

Individually, stocks that contributed positively to the index included Hubco (+24 points), National Foods (+18 points), Ghani Glass (+13 points), International Industries (+11 points) and Attock Petroleum (+11 points).

Stocks that contributed negatively were MCB (-22 points), HBL (-20 points), Pakistan Tobacco (-18 points), Lucky Cement (-11 points) and Engro Fertilisers (-10 points).

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the KSE-100 faced mixed trading as the index juggled between intraday high of +188 points and low of -114 points. It closed the session at 45,931, down 58 points.

A total of 531 million shares changed hands. The most traded stocks were Hum Network (+0.7%), Power Cement (+4.3%), Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim (-0.9%), TRG Pakistan (+0.6%) and Kohinoor Spinning Mills (-4.1%).

“According to news reports, the government is all set to increase power tariff in a phased manner by initially hiking it by Rs1.90 per unit to revive the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme under the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility,” he added.

The refinery sector was on the downtrend as Pakistan Refinery (-1%), Byco Petroleum (-1%), Attock Refinery (-0.7%) and National Refinery (-3.5%) closed in the red.

On expectations of positive results in the textile sector, Gul Ahmed Textile Mills (+7.5%) closed at its upper limit for the second consecutive day.

Selling pressure was witnessed in the cement sector where Pioneer Cement (-2.8%), DG Khan Cement (-1.6%), Cherat Cement (-0.7%), Gharibwal Cement (-1.7%) and Lucky Cement (-0.5%) lost ground.

“Moving forward, we recommend investors to consider any downside as an opportunity to buy stocks,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes fell to 531.1 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 620.7 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs17.8 billion.

Shares of 412 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 169 stocks closed higher, 225 declined and 18 remained unchanged.

Hum Network was the volume leader with 66.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.05 to close at Rs6.95. It was followed by Power Cement with 45.3 million shares, gaining Rs0.47 to close at Rs11.48 and Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim with 23.7 million shares, losing Rs0.26 to close at Rs27.31.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs335.8 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

 

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