KARACHI: Bears were on rampage at the stock market on Wednesday with the KSE-100 index sinking by 293.44 points or 1pc to settle at 29,382.97.

Nervous investors, worried over the storm clouds gathering on the political horizon, started to sell-off just as the market opened. Individuals took profit by selling stocks worth $1.45 million, though institutional investors decided to wait and watch. Volume thus slipped by 27pc to 97m shares.

Analysts said that the slump in global markets exacerbated the pressure on local bourse.

Foreign investors again came to the rescue on Wed­nes­day with the portfolio inflow of $2.99m, mainly in the banking and food sectors.

Usman Zahid, analyst at brokerage BMA Capital Management, in his mid-day report observed that despite continued strong FIPI of $19.45m over the past two days (post Eid), the KSE-100 index declined by 638 points or 2.1pc (931 points or 3pc including the Wednesday’s fall) following fears of ex­­ten­ded civil unrest in the wake of separate protest calls by two opposition parties, PTI and PAT.

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The downward movement consequently eroded Rs1.3bn or 1.76pc of the total market capitalisation in just the past two days. Mutual funds have been the biggest sellers followed by individuals.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp. stated that the panic selling was witnessed at KSE amid thin trade on rising political acti­vity ahead of August 14 march. Uncertainty in global stocks and institutional consolidation in overbought stocks after major earning announ­ce­­ments played a catalyst role in bearish sentiments.

Fahad M.Ali at JS Global commented that UBL announced the second interim cash dividend for the year 2014 at Rs2.50 per share. Yet the stock closed down by 4.5pc as investors opted to book profit.

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