KARACHI: The stock market witnessed decreased investor activity in a directionless week as the benchmark index closed on Friday at 44,477 points, down 0.9 per cent or 395 points from a week ago.
The reasons for the lacklustre interest from investors included the release of the Pandora Papers, alarming increase in the import bill, higher-than-expected inflation and rising global commodity prices, said JS Global in its research note. Concerns over the upcoming International Monetary Fund (IMF) review also hurt investor activity, it added.
As for the average daily traded volume, there was a 25pc week-on-week decline to 265 million shares. The value of traded shares averaged $60 million, down 21pc from a week ago.
“Mounting coal prices led the cement sector to underperform the benchmark this week. Delays in allocating incentives as per the new refinery policy caused refineries to show lagged performance while rising costs and depreciating rupee continued to pressure automobile stocks,” it said. The oil and gas exploration sector registered gains on the back of higher global oil prices.
Investors anticipate further monetary tightening in coming months as reflected by the State Bank of Pakistan’s treasury bill auction in the outgoing week. The auction saw the cut-off rates increase by 21 basis points — a phenomenon that led to the outperformance by the banking sector.
Top performers were Mari Petroleum Ltd, which went up 14.6pc week-on-week, followed by The Searle Company Ltd (7.8pc), Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan Ltd (6.4pc), United Bank Ltd (5pc) and Millat Tractors Ltd (3.8pc), according to AKD Securities.
Meanwhile, laggards included National Foods Ltd, which went down 18.9pc on a weekly basis, followed by Pioneer Cement Ltd (11.8pc), Gadoon Textile Mills Ltd (10.8pc), Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim Ltd (-10.7pc) and Cherat Cement Company (-10.5pc).
Volume leaders were WorldCall Telecom Ltd (133 million shares), TeleCard Ltd (127.3m shares), Unity Foods Ltd (55.6m shares), Ghani Global Holdings (50.8m shares) and Byco Petroleum Ltd (50.7m shares).
Flow-wise, individuals remained major buyers with a net purchase of shares worth $7.13m. They were followed by mutual funds that bought $3.61m worth of shares on a net basis. Companies were net sellers of $16.05m scrips. Foreigners sold shares amounting to $3.7m on a net basis.
“The market direction is likely to be determined by the upcoming result season, geopolitical situation and, most importantly, the IMF review where formal talks are expected to take place in the next week,” said AKD Securities. The government appears to be formulating strict measures to increase the tax base while gas and electricity tariff hikes are on the cards, it added.
Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2021