KARACHI: Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark 100-share index sank by 1,517.71 points (4.62 per cent) in January.

The decline could have been worse but for the last week of the month when the market managed to snap the downward spiral, with the index rising by 350 points (1.13pc) to end the last session on Friday at 31,299 points.

Foreigners were net sellers of $7 million worth stocks in the outgoing week. Yet the cement sector grabbed overseas investors’ interest and received inflows amounting to $6.8m. Major selling was seen in banks and electricity sectors amounting to $6.4m and $2m, respectively.

Average daily volume slipped 21pc to 116.8m shares and average daily value fell 13pc to Rs7bn during the week.

Analyst at brokerage Arif Habib Limited (AHL) commented that the market took a breather to the surprise of investors, ending in the black. “Though the market remains complex, incited by several triggers across the board, the local bourse has largely been driven in line with the trajectory of oil prices,” they said.

Dealers at Topline Securities stated that the recovery in international oil prices over the week brought relief to the local bourse.

On a sector basis, tobacco, construction and materials and oil and gas were major gainers during the week, up 11.5pc, 4.2pc and 3.9pc, respectively. Media and pharmaceutical and biotech were major losers as they declined 3.4pc and 2.7pc, respectively.

Brokerage KASB identified leading gainers during the week as Ibrahim Fibres, Pakistan Tobacco Company, Pakcem Limited, Archroma Pakistan Ltd and D.G. Khan Cement while Ferozsons Laboratories, Nestle Pakistan Limited, Shifa International Hospitals Ltd, Habib Bank Limited, and Hum Network Limited were the major losers.

“The KSE-100 index regained some stability breaking its slide of last three weeks although the activity at the market remained tepid,” stated an analyst at AKD Securities.

Regarding prognosis for the future, AHL analysts believed that the cut in electricity tariff by Rs3 per kilowatt hour by the Economic Coordination Committee for industries could bring back some positivity to the market, especially for cements and textiles.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2016

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