KARACHI: Stocks slightly recovered some of the losses suffered in the previous sessions, with the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) 100-share index closing up by 43.07 points at 32,582.68 on Thursday.

The market, however, lacked trading interest as the index moved in the range of only 100 points. Volumes declined to 146 million shares worth Rs8.1bn compared to 172m shares (Rs9.8bn) traded a day ago.

Foreigners were net sellers of $2.48m stocks. Major outflow of $1.1m was noted from the chemicals sector. Among local participants, mutual funds offloaded shares of the heavy sum of $2.68m while ‘companies’ bought $4.33m stocks that offered attractive valuations.

Dealers at brokerage Topl­ine Securities commented that in spite of IMF director’s statement in which he appreciated government’s efforts for economic developments, investors remained cautious due to concerns of ongoing protests by the MQM.

“The rumours of 20-25 per cent increase in gas development surcharge instead of 60pc, as announced earlier, brought renewed interest in fertiliser stocks, such as Fatima Fertiliser, FFC and FFBL,” dealers said. Lucky Cement did not perform well due to fear of continuous foreign selling in the stock.

“Stocks showed recovery led by selected oil and fertiliser scrips on institutional support in oversold market,” argued Ahsan Mehanti, analyst at Arif Habib Corp.Analyst Muhammad Mob­een at JS Global observed that PAEL represented second highest volume of 14.7m shares, but it remained under pressure and shed 0.4pc as investors opted to book profit.

Weak global commodities and fears of foreign-selling impacted sentiments. Supp­ort on rising sales data in auto, cement, oil and fertiliser sector for July-Feb 2014-15 played a catalyst role in positive sentiments at the KSE, he said.

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