KARACHI - Stocks fell as investors fear US may impose economic sanctions on Pakistan after Pakistan agreed to build gas pipeline with Iran. Across the board selling was witnessed as investors preferred to reduce their exposure before any negative news. Heavy weight OGDC, FFC, MCB and Engro Corp contributed heavily in the decline. Engro Corp which rose by more than 2pc in the morning after ECC approval, closed near to its lower limit, dealer Samar Iqbal observed here on Monday.

The Karachi stock market benchmark KSE-100 share index shed by 441.62 points or 0.26 percent to stop the day’s trading at 17,522.56 points as compared to 17,964.18 points of the last working day on Friday.

KSE-Allshare index decreased by 262.54 points or 2.08 percent to end the day at 12,634.76 points, KSE-30 share index lost 371.38 points or 2.55 percent to finish the trading session at 14,219.36 points while KMI-30 share index misplaced 783.61 points or 2.51 percent to conclude the trading at 30,431.84 points.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib brokerage said panic selling witnessed at KSE amid investor concerns for US warning Pak-Iran IP gas project could incur sanctions connected with Iran’s nuclear programme.

Institutional profit-taking witnessed in stocks across the board post major earning announcements as investors’ awaited outcome of $7.5b gas pipeline. Security unrest in the city after Karachi Blast, dismal cement sales for Feb’13 and economic uncertainty impacted the sentiments despite easing gas shortfall issues in fertilizer sector and ECC approval for raise in refineries deemed duty to 9pc, he added. 

The day turnover of local equity market in terms of shares was 234.655 million shares compared 235.847 million shares of the previous session. Trading value of shares climbed to Rs 8.226 billion from Rs 8.067 billion while the capitalisation Karachi stock market settled at Rs 4.368 trillion.

Trading took place in 348 companies where losers held a strong lead over the gainers 285 to 51 while the value of 12 stocks remained unchanged. Unilever Pak was the biggest loser of the day down by Rs 280 to Rs 10720 followed Bata (Pak) off by Rs 45 to Rs 1280. Colgate Palmolive and Sapphire Fiber XD were the top gainers of the day up by Rs 45.99 to Rs 1810 and Rs 6.38 to Rs 171.83 respectively.

Active list was topped by PTCLA with 20.638 million shares as it closed at Rs 20.27 after opening at Rs 20.76. Engro Corporation was on the second position with 18.667 million shares off by Rs 5.45 to Rs 122.53.

It was followed by JS Company with 17.915 million shares shed by Rs 1 to Rs 13.94, Fauji Cement with 13.535 million shares misplaced by Re 0.28 to Rs 7.90 and Nishat Mills Limited with 12.476 million shares down by Rs 3.43 to Rs 74.35.