Pakistan stocks lost more than one percent on Wednesday as foreign selling and fragile regional markets spooked investors to sell risky assets, dealers said.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark 100-share Index lost 326.60 points, or 1.05 percent, to close at 30,766.01 points. KSE 30-share index fell 258.86 points, or 1.43 percent, to end 17,839.37 points. Volumes further dropped 31 percent to 105.99 million shares. Trading value shrank 15 percent to Rs7 billion. The market capitalisation declined Rs41 billion to Rs6.55 trillion.
Out of a total of 311 active stocks, 208 closed down, 87 ended up, and 16 finished with no change. “Foreign outflow hit local institutions and high net-worth and individual investors,” said Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corporation.
Investors also booked profits in oil stocks after U.S. crude prices fell to 13-year low below $28/barrel on Iran supply glut, Mehanti said.
He added concerns for surging circular debt in the energy sector, security unrest in the country, weak data on fertilizers sales and exports led to a bearish close in the earnings announcement session.
Analyst Ali Raza at Elixir Securities said investors continued to track weak regional markets. “Stocks opened with a decline in early trade led by index heavy oils, while reported foreign selling in fertilisers, financials and select cements kept the market lower for rest of the day,” Raza said.
Habib Bank was down two percent, Lucky Cements declined 3.5 percent and Fauji Fertilizers fell 2.9 percent. Their losses contributed more than one-third to the index’s drop.
Analysts said a terrorist attack on a university in the northern part of country relived the security concerns. However, its impact was not pronounced.
Other stocks, which played a major role in pulling the benchmark down, included Pakistan Petroleum Limited, Pakistan Oilfields Limited, Pakistan State Oil, Hub Power Company, Engro Corporation, Engro Fertilizer, Dawood Hercules, Fatima Fertilizer Company, United Bank Limited, Searle Company and Ferozesons (Lab).
Kohinoor Textile was a star performer of the day. It increased maximum five percent to Rs73.43/share. Trade in 927,000 shares of the company supported the 100-index by 11.36 points. The rise, however, was offset by selling in other shares.
Ahmed Saeed Khan at JS Global Research said negativity prevailed in the session as foreign selling spooked the investors. Net foreign selling amounted to $36 million year to date.
Maple Leaf Cement rallied 0.77 percent because of its better than expected second quarter result.
“Moving forward, we expect the market to follow the trend of global markets and remain sensitive to the direction of foreign portfolio flows,” Khan said.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited was volume leader with 11.05 million shares, as it closed at Rs21.42 with a gain of 20 paisas. This was followed by TRG Pakistan with 8.86 million shares. Its share value ended down 66 paisas to Rs28.83/share. Maple Leaf Cement recorded trade in 8.19 million shares, as its price inched up 63 paisas to finish at Rs82.23/share.—Originally published in The News