KARACHI: Volatile trading along with Foreign Institutional Investor’s (FII) outflow continued at the bourse as the index kept local managers nervous.

Late accumulation, however, pushed the index towards a slight recovery on institutional buying with Engro Corporation (Engro PA +.2%) leading the bounce back.

At close on Tuesday, the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index fell 0.35% or 112.65 points to end at 32,342.26.

Elixir Securities analyst Sibtain Mustafa said locals including retail investors and prop books continued to be very cautious despite expectations of a rate cut.

“Overall, the market ended the day in red after testing lows of 32,100 with major losers from oil stocks following international oil prices decline.

“We see benchmark to inch up and test 32,800 ahead of the long weekend while turnover in broader market is expected to pick up post policy announcement on March 21,” said Mustafa.

Meanwhile, JS Global analyst Ovais Ahsan said that despite several positive triggers, the market refused to reverse its downward trajectory as fear of foreign selling plagued investors and forced them to book profits.

“Cement sector performed comparatively better than others with the expected cut in interest rates and increased local demand serving as positive sentiment drivers.

“PIOC (+3.51%) and LPCL (+0.89%) were major gainers in the sector. We like Engro Corp (+0.2%) going forward as the organization is highly leveraged (to benefit from interest rate cut), and the LNG agreement has been signed, which means LNG imports will start shortly giving annually a positive Rs2 per share earnings impact,” concluded Ahsan.

Trade volumes slightly rose to 128 million shares compared to 120 million on Monday.

Shares of 340 companies were traded on Tuesday. Of these, 191 declined, 127 closed higher and 22 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.1 billion.

Pak Elektron was the volume leader with 11.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.29 to close at Rs52.84. It was followed by Maple Leaf Cement with 9.6 million shares, losing Rs0.16 to close at Rs52.80 and Jahangir Siddiqui and Company with 6.9 million shares, losing Rs0.43 to close at Rs16.82.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs902 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

 

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