Stocks fall sharply amid thin activity

KARACHI –  Pakistan Stock Exchanged (PSX) fell sharply lower on first trading day of the week, Monday, amid thin activity on concerns for ongoing political noise.

The KSE-100 index – as has been the case over the past few months – churned out a lackluster performance, shedding 262 points and closing at 38,384 points, not carrying on from Friday’s session, when the index shot up 701 (+1.83%).

Political noise was at a high decibel, however Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s announcement of the election date did not suffice to remove investors’ jitters, said dealer at JS Global.

Institutional selling was witnessed in scrips across the board on uncertainty in rupee parity against dollar. Dismal data on trade deficit for Jul-Nov’17 and weak global crude oil prices played a catalyst role in bearish activity at PSX, stated analyst Ahsan Mehanti. Volumes during the day stood at 50m shares, the lowest since Jul-2014, while value traded stood at $24m, down 71% from Friday’s activity.

Volume leaders during the day were TRG (down 4.97%), ANL (up 0.14%), KEL (down 1.14%) and WTL (down 3.04%). Brief participation from the institutional side was seen in E&P sector where POL (down 0.69%), PPL (1.24%) and OGDC (0.41%) closed in the red. Pressure was seen in the cement sector, where MLCF (down 0.97%), FCCL (2.15%), DGKC (1.98%) and LUCK (1.98%) were major laggards.

Brokers expect market to remain negative on the back of political uncertainty amid a general lack of triggers.

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