PSX pushed to One-Year low amid strong bears

KARACHI: The stock market continued to bleed on Thursday due to fresh political dampeners including the arrest warrant issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and Sharif family’s expected indictment by an accountability court on Friday.

Low trading volumes and major losses in prominent index names also pulled the KSE-100 index down with oil and gas exploration and production sector being the standalone gainer due to increase in global crude prices for the third consecutive day.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index registered a decline of 266.15 points or 0.66% to finish at 40,237.53 points.

Market watch: Losing streak continues in volatile stock trading

According to Elixir Securities, Pakistan equities closed the fourth consecutive session negative on trimmed losses as recovery in the final 90 minutes helped erase some early declines that had pulled the benchmark index to test a new intra-day low since October 2016.

“After a positive open, the market was pulled into the red territory with cement stocks leading the losses due to concern over further price discounts by manufacturers in northern regions of the country,” it said.

Maple Leaf Cement (-4.9%) hit limit down despite the company’s announcement of commencement of operation at its 40-megawatt coal-fired power plant while DG Khan Cement (-2.6%) and Lucky Cement (-1.2%) also weighed on the index.

Sentiments were again dampened midday after the Election Commission of Pakistan issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Oilfields (+5%) continued to buck the wider market downtrend as investors came to terms with preliminary reserves’ estimates of its new discovery (Jhandial – Ikhlas block) which were relatively greater in size compared to the company’s existing reserves.

“We see a directionless market tomorrow (Friday) with politics being a dampener as ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and his family members are expected to be indicted by an accountability court on corruption references,” the report added.

Overall, trading volumes rose to 137 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 129 million.

Shares of 395 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 73 stocks closed higher, 306 declined while 16 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.12 billion.

K-Electric was the volume leader with 13.5 million shares, gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs6.30. It was followed by TRG Pakistan with 8.21 million shares, losing Rs0.95 to close at Rs33.34 and Fauji Foods ® with 7.31 million shares, losing Rs0.55 to close at Rs16.50.