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Pakistan stocks close red amid resurgence in terror incidents

Updated February 17, 2017

The Pakistan Stock Exchange ended Friday in the red, after the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan cracked down on brokers with large outstanding debit balances and a series of terror incidents left the country reeling after a long period of relative calm.

The benchmark KSE-100 index lost 212.59 points, or 0.43 per cent, in the Friday session to reach 49,376 points. The index closed 1.1pc lower than last week.

153.8 million shares changed hands, with a total worth of Rs 14.7 billion.

Stocks of 403 companies were traded, of which 220 gained in value, 170 declined and 13 remained unchanged.

Volumes were led by:

  1. K-Electric Ltd: 28.4m shares traded (+0.91pc);

  2. Power Cement Ltd: 25m shares traded (+4.97pc);

  3. Dost Steels Ltd: 24.3m shares traded (+0.75pc);

  4. Aisha Steel Mill: 19.8m shares traded (-0.26pc); and,

  5. Bank of Punjab: 15.7m shares traded (+1.71pc).

The Thursday evening suicide attack at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine seemed to have dented investor sentiment, deflating some of the positivity seen in the market earlier that day.

A weekend note from a local brokerage noted the overall 2.3pc decline in pharmaceutical stocks this week, which their analyst attributed to a crackdown on illegal drugs and widespread strikes by drug manufacturers and sellers.

The chemicals sector was led lower by Engro's poorer-than-expected earnings — announced this week — while oil and gas stocks rose higher on the back of improving international crude oil prices.

"Foreigners were net buyers of $4.2m during the week as against buying of $5.4m during the previous week," read a note from Topline Securities. "Major buying was seen in commercial banks, whereas major selling was seen in food & personal care," it stated.