Financials, cements lead decline as Index sheds 308 points

Benchmark KSE100 traded under pressure Monday as profit taking was witnessed amid lack of triggers and low volumes. The KSE-100 Index closed negative shedding 308 points to finally settle at 41,353 levels.

After witnessing a sideways trading session in the early hours, the market consistently came down making a low of 420 points.

Financials and Cements took the lead in the day’s decline with MCB Bank Limited (MCB) losing 1.93 percent, Habib Bank Limited (HBL) losing 1.77 percent; Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF) losing 3.84 percent and DG Khan Cement Company Limited (DGKC) losing 2.79 percent collectively contributed 101 points in Moday’s decline.

DGKC was also under pressure as Supreme Court today concluded the Katas Raj Case and directed the Company to deposit Rs 80 million for payment of water utilized and Rs 20 million as penalty for attempting to mislead the apex court.

Conclusion of International Monetary Fund (IMF) review for a Bailout Package and disbursement of USD 1 billion from Saudi Arabia are likely to lift investors’ sentiments in an otherwise dull market, said Murtaza Jafar, an analyst at Elixir Research. According to the news President Donald Trump defended his administration’s decision to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan, saying the country does not do anything for the US. Moreover Pakistan is likely to receive the first tranche of $1 billion as balance of payments support from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within the next couple of days, boosting the country’s plummeting foreign currency reserves.

Traded value stood at $52 million (down 33 percent) while volumes clocked in at 176 million, down 12 percent. Furthermore, major contribution to total market volume came from LOTCHEM (+0.05%), STPL (+4.40%) and DSL (+13.44%). An equity analyst Maaz Mulla expects investor’s sentiment to remain positive and recommend investors to wait for further developments on the economic front on the Pak-China event.

Published in Daily Times, November 20th 2018.