Volumes on KSE dip as investors remain cautious on new SBP policy rate


Karachi stocks market was bearish, with trade volumes dipping as low as 31 million shares on the back of, what market observers viewed, investors’ cautious approach days before scheduled announcement of discount rate to be made by State Bank. Day saw benchmark, KSE 100-share index, losing 43.02 points or 0.36 per cent to stand at 11,894.79 points against 11,937.81 of the previous day. Index hit respective intraday high and low of 12,002.76 and 11,866.96 points. “Bearish activity witnessed at KSE as investors remained cautious ahead of policy announcement this month,” commented Ahsan Mehanti, director at Arif Habib Investments. Total shares traded at ready-counter were counted at 31.097 million, just two million up from last week’s historic low of 28.661 million. Friday, last week, had seen traded volumes at 38.838 million shares at country’s largest bourse.
According to Mehanti, major fall in global stocks and commodities on United States and European debt fears affected investors’ sentiment. “Investors stayed put despite strong fundamentals in local commodity stocks in fertiliser, oil and cement sector,” analyst said.
Trading value also moved downward and contracted to Rs1.1 billion compared to Rs1.3 billion last Friday. Market capital slid to Rs3.093 trillion, compared to Rs3.104 trillion previously. Of total 327 traded scrips, 68 were declared as “plus”, 141 as “minus” and 118 as “unchanged”. “Institutional support in blue-chip stocks like Fauji Fertilizers, OGDC, MCB (Bank) and National Bank led intra-day recovery in the bearish session,” Ahsan Mehanti said.
Bank Al-Falah was the day’s volume leader having 5.49 million of its shares traded at the highest per share rate of Rs12.31. Banks’ share price declined to Rs12.04 after opening at Rs12.07.
Other scrips that followed were Wateen Telecom, National Bank of Pakistan, Nishat Mills XD, Fatima Fertilizer Company, Byco Petroleum, Fauji Fertilizer XD, Lucky Cement, Lotte PakPTA and PTCL that counted their traded shares, respectively, at 2.0 million, 1.9 million, 1.8 million, 1.5 million, 1.1 million, 1.1 million, 0.908 million, 0.900 million and 0.873 million.
Turnover at future market, however, witnessed an upset and increased to 6.773 million shares from 2.243 million shares of preceding day. Scrips that were rated as plus numbered 43, as minus 96 and one unchanged. ANL-NOV was the volume leader on this side having 1.354 million of its shares traded during the day “Local bourse gives a deserted look as the turnover shrinks further,” said Hasnain Asghar Ali of Aziz Fidahusein and Company. Analyst said rising uncertainty on political front along with tough economic and financial situation, with international lenders like IMF seeking guarantees before moving forward, kept pressure intact.
However, Hasnain said, likely recovery of lost money from various RPPs on order of Supreme Court did allow the beneficiaries from the banking sector to invite turnover on strength. “The absence of follow-up support, however, kept the day traders on the sidelines,” he said.
Analyst said lackluster-led price erosion remerged after low volume gains registered during early trade, thanks to OGDC for allowing index to test 12000.