KARACHI: Pakistan equities closed bearish on Tuesday after trading in a narrow range of near 350 points. The urea subsidy withdrawal led fertilizer stocks to plunge as the index declined by 173 points or 0.36 percent to a 48,865 level.
Stocks opened lower primarily on losses in index heavy oils that tracked lower global crude while fertilizer plays also dented the benchmark KSE100 in early trade with a lower opening on panic after government withdrew subsidy the on Urea and DAP.
"Textile and cement stocks outperformed on upbeat cotton output data for the season and the expected Rs 180bn PM's incentive package announcement later today to support export oriented sectors. Concerns for dismal economic data on government borrowings and foreign outflows played a catalyst role in bearish close in the earning season", Ahsan Mehanti, senior analyst.
Fauji Fertilizer closed in the red on trimmed losses while Engro Fertilizer traded the most since listing in 2014 with over 36 million shares exchanging hands on reported local activity. ENGRO, FFC and EFERT contributed 128 points to the fall in index as stocks declined by 2.5 percent, 2.7 percent and 4.9 percent respectively.
The wider market witnessed selective interest with Textiles bringing excitement near the close of trading as the government announced its much awaited incentive package for the ailing industry. Most stocks however pared gains on lack of clarity and profit taking at highs.
Overall, volumes decreased by 16 percent to 413 million shares, while value declined by 3.3 percent Rs 20.1 billion/$193 million. On Monday 492 million shares worth Rs 20.8 billion/$200 million were traded at the bourse.
Market players expect volatility and range bound trading and immediate support at KSE100 index to kick in at 48,300 levels while 49,000 remains a key resistance level.