KARACHI: The stock market endured a relatively volatile session as the index ended its three-day winning streak to close in the red.
After a brief open in the positive, the KSE-100 index slipped as investors resorted to book profits owing as uncertainty drove sentiments. News reports of Finance Minister Asad Umar telling Prime Minister Imran Khan that the IMF deal is not in the interest of Pakistan also dented sentiments. The index continued to oscillate between the red and green zones.
At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 108.71 points, or 0.26%, to settle at 41,505.68.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said equities closed negative with the benchmark index shedding 109 points.
“Local bourse started off on a weak note, trading sideways making a high and a low of +152 and -196, respectively,” he stated.
On the economic front, the first meeting of the reconstituted 9th National Finance Commission (NFC) was chaired by Umar in Islamabad on Wednesday and the participants agreed that future fiscal allocation should reflect the true spirit of the 18th Amendment.
Financial and exploration and production stocks came under the hammer where HBL (-1.3%), MCB (-0.2%), UBL (-1.0%), Pakistan Oilfields (-0.6%), OGDC (-1.2%) and Pakistan Petroleum (-1.1%) closed in the negative.
Cements rallied further where Lucky Cement (+0.1%) and DG Khan Cement (+2.3%) closed in the green as international coal prices dropped further.
“We expect investors’ sentiments to remain positive in the long run while consolidation is expected at these levels,” the analyst added.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 205.2 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 254.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.86 billion.
Shares of 373 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 138 stocks closed higher, 220 declined and 15 remained unchanged.
Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 17.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.53 to close at Rs22.77. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 9.6 million shares, gaining Rs1.24 to close at Rs47.99 and DG Khan Cement with 8.8 million shares, gaining Rs2.12 to close at Rs93.68.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs890 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.