KARACHI: The index began the week in the red as political uncertainty kept investor interest low.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 1.09% or 322.52 points to end at 29,383.13.

Elixir Securities analyst Harris Ahmed Batla said Pakistan equities traded lacklustre as institutional interest remained low amid low volume.

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“The benchmark index traded positive at the open but soon plunged to the red zone dragged by index heavy Oil and Gas Dev. Co. (OGDC) -1.73% dipping on low volumes ahead of its gas development surcharge issue due next month.”

Batla added that political uncertainty is likely to grow with PTI announcing extension of their anti-protest gatherings in other cities.

“Additionally, concerns over macros kept local institutions on the sideline with the exception -0.53% of UBL, said Batla. “While Nishat Chunian Ltd. (NCL) -4.98% hit its second consecutive lower price limit following its earnings announcement.”

Batla concluded that the remainder of the volume chart remained dominated by small cap retail plays.

Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Ovais Ahsan said the trend remained bearish. “Sentiment remained negative due to the hearing of a petition registered by an opposition party challenging the prime minister’s legitimacy to hold office.”

Trade volumes slightly fell to 90 million shares compared to Friday’s tally of 160 million.

KSE1 30-09

Shares of 370 companies were traded on Monday. Of these, 275 companies declined, 73 closed higher while 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.08 billion.

Gul Ahmed Group was the volume leader with 5.9 million shares, losing Rs 0.07 to close at Rs 69.23. It was followed by Nishat Chunian with 4.8 million shares, losing Rs2.03 to close at Rs38.76 and the United Bank with 4.6 million shares, losing Rs0.99 to close at Rs184.87.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs121 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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