LAHORE - The outgoing week witnessed profit taking as investors shied away from fresh investments amidst growing political uncertainty.

Mutual funds again turned out to be the largest buyers of equities with net buying of US$19.2 million compared to last week's massive buying of US$78 million. Foreign investors and Banks, on the other hand, remained net sellers of US$10.7 million and US$5.5 million during the week, respectively. Of the key performers (1) Autos (+10 percent WoW), (2) Glass and Ceramics (+9 percent WoW), (3) Refineries (+2 percent WoW) and (4) Chemicals (+2 percent WoW) were noteworthy contributors towards the green points, whereas (1) Oil & Gas (-4 percent WoW), (2) Cements (-1 percent WoW) and (3) Fertilizers (-4 percent WoW) remained major underperformers. Investors' interest is expected to pick up ahead of the MSCI review on May 15 however progress on JIT formed by the Supreme Court will also remain a key driver of market performance going forward.

According to experts, investors looked to close-up shop & book gains ahead of the long weekend as Post-Panama excitement faded & triggers dried up amid the dull earnings season (barring autos). Resultantly, KSE-100 index pared 408pts/0.8 percent WoW, albeit participation remained buoyant as ADT volume/value continued to trend up 29 percent/7 percent WoW to 359 million.sh/US$169 million, while volatility eased to 2 percent down from 6 percent last week.

Downside laggers on the index were PPL (-8.8 percent WoW), HUBC (-5 percent), ENGRO (-4 percent), FFC (-5.1 percent) & SEARL (-8.3 percent) eroding 474pts, while leaders were INDU (+16 percent), PSMC (+20 percent), PAKT (+18.2 percent), PAEL (+10 percent) & MTL (+6.1 percent), with positive contribution of 289pts.

In terms of earnings, HU MILLIONL (+13 percent) & GHGL (11 percent) gained on the back of stellar results, while FEROZ (-15 percent) & CSAP (-11 percent) tanked on a weak quarter.

Within the sectors; Tobacco, Autos, Glass & Auto-parts, outperformed the broader market, gaining between 9.9 percent-6.5 percent WoW; while Ferts, Power, & Cements underperformed with negative return in the range of 2.3 percent-0.9 percent.

Funds (+US$19.2 million) were the biggest buyers while Foreigners were sellers of $10.7 million during the week as against selling of $32 million last week; with most of the selling concentrated in Cement ($5 million), OMC ($4.8 million) and E&P ($2.6 million), while foreigner bought $9.5 million worth of Banks.

During the week, Aisha Steel Limited reported 3Q earnings PAT of Rs421 million translating to dilute EPS of Rs0.73/sh. Profitability of the company improved five fold as compared to last years’ PAT of Rs70 million. The cold rolling mill’s revenue surged 50 percent YoY to Rs4.3bn while margins shot up to 21 percent compared to 14 percent last year. Along with the result, the management has declared a board meeting to approve their expansion plan along with source of funding.

Crescent Steel & Allied Products (CSAP) reported dismal 3Q EPS of Rs2.05 down 61 percent YoY, while the management had cited that margins on the latest contracts would be lower than those awarded previously. Gross profit margin clocked in at 0.39 percent vs. 28 percent last year, which could potentially be due to a change in revenue recondition. The bizarre result lead the stock to close down 5 percent.

Dawood Hercules Corporation (DAWH) reported EPS of Rs2.2, down 25 percent YoY as its portfolio companies ENGRO & HUBC’s earnings declined by 23 percent & 16 percent, respectively.

Hascol Petroleum (HASCOL) reported EPS of Rs3.1, up 85 percent YoY but slightly below expectations.

According to State Bank of Pakistan's weekly report, the country's total liquid foreign exchange reserves stood at US$21.2bn as on April 21, 2017 compared to US$21.6bn on April 14, 2017.

Directorate of Customs Valuation has increased the customs valuation rate on import of 1,800cc and above vehicles ahead of federal budget 2017-18.