LAHORE - Volatility persisted throughout the week with index ultimately plummeting on a WoW basis. Uncertain political environment in the backdrop of ongoing Panama case and fresh wave of terrorist attacks in the country kept sentiments bearish at the bourse.

Of the key sectors, key outperformers during the week were Insurance (+3.7% WoW), and OMC (+2.2% WoW). On the other hand, key heavyweights such as Banks (-1.2% WoW), Autos (-0.8% WoW) and Cements (-0.8% WoW) underperformed the broader index during the week. Apart from volatile security situation in the country, weaker than anticipated results during the week (especially Oil & Gas Development Company) contributed towards decline in index during the week. With weakened sentiments, overall participation also remained lackluster with average traded volumes falling by 15 percent to 354 million shares and ADTO by 5 percent to $168 million. Encouragingly, however, foreigners turned out as net buyers of $4.3 million during the week after a long selling spree witnessed since the start of the year.

Experts said that trading at the bourse remained dull during the outgoing week, amid SECP’s crackdown on brokers outstanding debit balances which led investor to close out their positions in a haste. Sentiments were also dampened due to the recent violence across the country. Resultantly the index close down -1.1 percent WoW.

Pharmaceuticals declined 2.3 percent WoW amid Pharma association protests, Chemicals declined 2 percent WoW as index heavy weight ENGRO’s dividend missed expectations leading to a 5 percent WoW decline. However, Oil & Gas Marketing inched up 2 percent on the week, lead by strong gains in SHEL (+12%) & SNGP (+8%).

Foreigners were net buyers of $4.2 million during the week as against buying of $5.4 million during the previous week. Major buying was seen in commercial banks whereas major selling was seen in food & personal care.

As per notice on the stock exchange, acquirers of Muree Brewere Company (MUREB), namely Isphanyar Bhandara, Jasmin Bhandara and Messer DP Edulji & Co have withdrawn public announcement of intention to acquire 21 percent shares in MUREB, citing reasons beyond the control of acquirers.

Hascol Petroleum (HASCOL) notified the exchange regarding the completion of Mehmood Kot storage facility, total capacity of which is 13,500 tons including 9,000 tons of diesel and 4,500 tons of petrol. The facility is connected to PARCO pipeline, and will improve supply chain management and will lead to higher sales.

Hascol also notified the PSX stating that the “stone laying ceremony” of Hascol’s Lube Oil Blending & Grease Plant will be held on February 20, 2017. Total cost of the project is $20 million and it is expected to be completed within two years time. A new company Hascol Lubricants (Pvt) Ltd (wholly owned subsidiary) has been formed to operate the plant and avail tax exemptions.

Crescent Steel (CSAP) notified the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) of material information which states that Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGP) has awarded CSAP a contract for the supply of 30 bare pipe amounting to Rs1.8 billion. The aforesaid contract along with the contracts already announced (SNGP 2.3b & SSGC 656m), are expected to be executed by 1QFY18.

Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco will stock its products at a Pakistani supermarket chain, a Tesco official said on Thursday, “We have agreed on a wholesale partnership with Alpha Supermarkets in Pakistan, under which Tesco products will be stocked at two of its stores,” Jared Lebel, head of new market development at Tesco.

Ministry of Commerce has stepped up efforts to explore new markets and increase the export of value-added goods. Under the new market initiative, the seventh round on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Thailand is scheduled to be held on March 7, 2017 in Bangkok.