KARACHI - Stocks on Friday closed lower amid thin activity as investors’ remained cautious ahead of Monetary Policy announcement today. The KSE-100 index fell by 12 points or 0.04pc to close at 32,605 index level.
The market witnessed lackluster volumes for most part of the day ending only 12 points negative. Investors remained largely sidelined, remaining cautious ahead of the budget.
The market started on a positive note and gained 133 points, however short-lived as the market soon corrected itself and hovered near its opening level. Side-board scripts witnessed trading for most part of the day with KEL, PAEL, PRLR and JSCL remaining in the limelight.
However, in the latter part of the day’s trade the market posted a slight recovery from a low of 89 points as investors anticipating a 50bps discount-rate cut in the upcoming MP announcement developed interest in highly-leveraged scrips.
Cements were the choice with FCCL, MLCF and KOHC ending 0.1pc, 0.2pc and 0.6pc higher.
Banks, however, were generally losers on discount rate cut expectations as BAHL, FABL and NBP shed by 0.2pc, 0.9pc and 0.2pc. Oil & Gas sector posted a slight recovery as PSO, POL and PPL ended 0.7pc, 0.6pc and 0.3pc higher. After the passing of GIDC Act, fertilizers remained under pressure with EFERT and Engro ended 0.3pc and 0.6pc lower, observed analyst Umair Hasan at JS Global.
Volume at Karachi bourse fell to 10 months low as only Rs3.5b shares traded on Friday.
Analyst Ahsan Mehanti stated institutional support in oil stocks after recovery in global crude prices led the index to close above session lows. Selling pressure in blue chip stocks amid concerns for ongoing security unrest in Saudi-Yemen conflict and pre-budget uncertainty played a catalyst role in bearish activity at KSE .
Index remained range bound ahead of monetary policy statement on Saturday. A cut of more than 50bps could be positive for the market.
Continuous selling by local funds and uncertainty on upcoming budget forcing investors to remain on sideline, said a sales desk report of Topline Security.
Some improvement was seen in share prices of oil stocks thanks to recovery in global crude oil prices.
BOP led the volume with 4.7m shares (closed -1.18pc) followed by HUMNL with 4.4m shares (up by 2.89pc) and KEL with 4.1m shares (closed up by 0.81pc).