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Pakistani stocks close red as selling pressure persists

Updated February 20, 2017

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The Pakistan Stock Exchange ended Monday’s trading session on a negative note, with the benchmark KSE-100 index losing 447 points, or 0.9 per cent, by the close of trading to reach 48,929.

The benchmark index had started the week on a dull note, posting a mere 2-point gain by the halfway mark earlier in the day.

112 million shares had changed hands by the end of the session, with a total worth of nearly Rs8.95 billion.

Stocks of 405 companies were traded, of which 117 gained in value, 275 declined and 13 remained unchanged.

Volumes were led by:

  1. Power Cement Ltd: 26.3 m shares traded (-5.55pc);

  2. Suit South Gas: 21.4m shares traded (+4.38pc);

  3. K-Electric Ltd: 17.9m shares traded (-2.19pc);

  4. Dost Steels Ltd: 15.5m shares traded (-2.55pc); and,

  5. Ghani Automobile: 13.8m shares traded (-6.30pc).

Analyst insights

Ahsan Mehnati, a capital market analyst, said that the market remained bearish as investors were hesitant amid prevalent negativity at the bourse following poorer-than-expected financial results, particularly in energy and fertilizer stocks.

“Weak earnings announcement by Hub Power (HUBCO), Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) invited late session pressure in the futures rollover week,” he said.

He added that weak global stocks and crude prices, concerns for foreign outflows, and dismal payouts in the fertilizer and banking sector played a role in the bearish close.

An analyst at Topline Securities, Fahad Qasim, added that the Securities and Exchanges Commission of Pakistan's (SECP) stringent compliance measures for brokers and the start of the futures roll-over week (all outstanding futures contracts will have to be settled by Friday) also amplified the downward pressure.

Nabeel Haroon at JS Global noted that, “Volatility prevailed in the market during the first half of the session, whereas heavy profit-taking was witnessed in the market during the second half of the day.”

Profit taking, to some extent, was also witnessed in the cement sector, as sector heavyweights lost value to close in the red zone, he added.