KARACHI: The KSE-100 index snapped the winning streak on Thursday after posting gains for five consecutive sessions and gave in to the selling pressure, closing down 226 points as market participants resorted to profit-booking on fears of a disappointing corporate results season.
The approaching rollover week played a prominent role in the bearish close of the market.
Index-heavy sectors including automobile, cement, exploration and production and oil marketing faced selling pressure, which pulled the index down.
Earlier, trading began with a spike as investors took cue from Wednesday’s bullish close but a lack of positive triggers, coupled with speculation of a dull results season, erased the gains by midday and pushed the bourse into the red zone.
The index traded in a narrow range in first half of the session after which it marched downwards and ended the day with a loss.
At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 226.4 points, or 0.6%, to settle at 37,578.21 points.
Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market had an exciting session, which resulted in oscillation between positive and negative zones throughout the day. It closed down by 226 points.
Selling pressure was mainly noted in cement, steel, pharmaceutical and oil marketing companies, which dragged the market down.
Banking-sector stocks MCB, HBL and UBL saw buying activity, which helped offset the index’s decline. However, selling pressure eroded the gains posted by banking-sector stocks.
During the session, the market went up by 302 points but lost all those gains and dropped by 264 points.
The textile sector led the volumes with trading in 41.4 million shares, followed by vanaspati companies (38.1 million) and technology firms (34.1 million).
Among individual stocks, Unity Foods topped the volumes with 38.1 million shares changing hands, followed by Azgard Nine (31.2 million) and Fauji Foods (23.4 million), the report added.
JS Global analyst Danish Ladhani said the benchmark KSE-100 index closed in the negative zone after gains for five consecutive sessions.
“The market touched high and low of +302 and -264 points respectively, and closed at 37,578, down 0.6%,” he said. “The lacklustre performance in Thursday’s trading session can be attributed to the rollover week ahead.”
Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.3%) and Pakistan Petroleum (-1.7%) from the exploration and production sector lost ground despite a steady recovery in international crude oil prices in line with the historic output cuts.
Mixed sentiment was witnessed in the financial sector where MCB Bank (+1.1%), UBL (+0.6%) and HBL (+0.1%) remained in the green zone whereas NBP (-0.9%) was in the red.
Furthermore, profit-taking was observed in cement stocks among which Lucky Cement (-3.4%), Pioneer Cement (-4.5%) and Maple Leaf Cement (-4%) shed values.
Lucky Cement (-3.4%), Hubco (-2%), Pakistan Petroleum (-1.7%), Engro (-0.7%), Maple Leaf Cement (-4%) and DG Khan Cement (-2.9%) were the index movers.
Traded value stood at $84 million, down 21% and volumes came in at 379 million shares, down 6%.
“Going forward, we expect the market to remain lacklustre and recommend investors to sell on strength,” the analyst said.
Overall, trading volumes decreased to 379.3 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 405.5 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs14.1 billion.
Shares of 403 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 129 stocks closed higher, 250 declined and 24 remained unchanged.
Unity Foods XR was the volume leader with 38.1 million shares, losing Rs0.16 to close at Rs12.63. It was followed by Azgard Nine with 31.2 million shares, gaining Rs0.57 to close at Rs16.33 and Fauji Foods with 23.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.38 to close at Rs11.04.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs238.6 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.