Market watch: KSE-100 snaps seven day winning streak | The Express Tribune


KARACHI:

The seven session uptrend at the Pakistan Stock Exchange came to an end on Thursday as expansion in trade deficit and mounting Covid Omicron cases dragged the KSE-100 index lower by 326 points.

Over two fold increase in trade gap during the first six months of the ongoing fiscal year and jump in imports to an unsustainable level painted a gloomy image of the economy and shattered investor sentiments. The market now expects further deterioration in the current account deficit and slide in rupee against the US dollar.

Adding to woes of the market participants, the steep increase in cases of Covid Omicron variant all over the nation renewed fears of another lockdown and investors chose to dump their holdings. However, massive buying from foreigners limited losses.

The session kicked off with a slide as investors rushed to offload their positions on the back of dismal trade data. The market took a breather near midday and cherry picking helped it recover however it succumbed to selling pressure again due to concerns over spike in virus cases and closed with loss.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index recorded a decrease of 325.59 points, or 0.72%, to settle at 45,082.3.

A report from Arif Habib Limited stated that market remained under pressure on Wednesday due to the higher trade deficit number and rising number of Covid-19’s new variant Omicron cases in Pakistan.

Trade deficit year-on-year widened by a sharp 106.4% to $25.478 billion which was driven largely by a nearly triple increase in imports compared to exports.

Profit-taking was witnessed throughout the day mainly in the tech and cement stocks, which led the market to close in the red zone.

Activity continued to remain sideways as market witnessed hefty volumes in the third tier stocks, the report said.

JS Global analyst Neelam Naz said that market took a break on Wednesday after a seven-day climb and managed to close at 45,082, losing 326 points day-on-day.

Important news that dampened investor confidence were regarding a rise in international coal prices and widening trade deficit.

Major volume leaders today were WorldCall Telecom (-4.2%), TRG Pakistan (-7.5%), Unity Foods (R) (-0.9%), Telecard (-3.9%) and Yousaf Weaving Mills (+14.2%).

Shares which dragged the index down were TRG Pakistan, Lucky Cement, PSO, Pakistan Petroleum and Oil and Gas Development Company.

“Going forward, we advise a buy on dips strategy in the technology, oil and gas exploration, banking and cyclical sector stocks,” the analyst said.

Overall trading volumes fell to 345.3 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 432.1 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.2 billion.

Shares of 380 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 87 stocks closed higher, 258 declined and 15 remained unchanged.

WorldCall Telecom was the volume leader with 65.1 million shares, losing Rs0.1 to close at Rs2.26. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 54.8 million shares, losing Rs9.26 to close at Rs144.33 and Unity Foods (R) with 30.2 million shares, losing Rs0.02 to close at Rs2.25.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs2.1 billion worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.




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