Greener BeeGreen HolidaysStocks close down ahead of holidays; volume slips

Thin positive news flow, heavy monsoon rains and Eid holidays kept investors away on Thursday, leaving the market vulnerable to profit- taking in a three-year low volume, dealers said.

Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said foreign outflows, concerns over Pak-US relations, potential penalty on HBL New York branch and weak economic indicators also played a catalytic role in bearish close.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares shed 0.28 percent or 116.66 points to close at 41,206.99 points. KSE-30 shares shed 0.83 percent or 176.13 points to close at 21,002.90 points. As many as 347 scrips were active of which 213 advanced, 120 declined and 14 remained unchanged.

The ready market volumes stood at 70.559 million shares as compared with the turnover of 132.099 million shares a day earlier. “Participation thinned as punters were more concerned counting cows than trading stocks, with average volume/value plunging 39 percent/38 percent,” analyst Adnan Sami Sheikh at Topline Securities said in a post market note.

 “Thursday’s turnover of 70.5 million shares was a three-year low as the metropolis faced transport difficulty due to rains.” Heavy monsoon rains brought the financial capital to a halt as incessant rain flooded several parts of Karachi and paralyzed transport system in the city.

Dealers said pressure remained in oil and banking stocks on falling global crude prices and weak banking spreads amid flat treasury yields. 

Maaz Mulla at JS Global Capital said market remained negative during the initial hours of the day with record low volumes, making an intraday low of 481 points. “However, during the second half index recovered a bit on the back of foreign buying seen under MSCI rebalancing.”

Habib Bank (HBL) down 5.0 percent for the fourth day in a row opened on its lower lock. Mari Petroleum (MARI),down 0.99 percent, however gained after closing at lower lock for two consecutive days.

EP sector closed 5.2 percent lower than its previous day close, further exerting pressure on the index. Pakistan Petroleum (PPL), down 1.38 percent, Oil Gas Development Company (OGDC), down 2.34 percent and Pakistan Oilfields (POL), down 0.11 percent, all closed in the red zone. 

Amreli Steel, International Steel and Aisha Steel closed in the green zone as investors picked these stocks at attractive prices.  Companies reflecting highest gains include Millat Tractors up Rs53.17 to close at Rs1,164.53/share and Abbot Laboratories up Rs31.96 to close at Rs757.36/share.

Companies reflecting most losses include Unilever Foods down Rs149.99 to close at Rs6,400/share and Nestle Pakistan down Rs111.01 to end at Rs11,118.99/share. Highest volumes were witnessed in TRG Pakistan with a turnover of 7.63 million shares. The scrip gained Rs1.51 to close at Rs35.38/share.

United Bank (UBL) was second with a turnover of 4.02 million shares. It shed Rs3.53 to close at Rs186.13/share. Azgard Nine was third with a turnover of 3.73 million shares. It gained 49 paisas to finish at Rs13.83/share.

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