KARACHI

Stocks closed bearish amid institutional profit taking owing to banking system liquidity stress near the year-end.

Trade remained high with limited foreign interest as global equity and commodities remained in pressure after WTI crude oil prices fell below $55/barrel. Reports for falling local cement prices and concerns for heavy circular debt in energy sector played a catalyst role in bearish activity at KSE, analyst Ahsan Mehanti state.

The benchmark KSE 100-index decreased by 86.27 points to close at 31,906.74 points level.

Ovais Ahsan at JS Global stated the market closed in the negative zone Monday as participants remained cautious with the government and PTI talks not yielding any agreement on how to conduct a review of election results. Institutional activity remained low with the calendar year coming to an end. The cement sector came off on anticipation that the prime minister will approve a hike in gas tariff by 10% to 64% which would adversely affect players DGKC-1.20%, LUCK-0.4% and MLCF-1.7% which have higher dependency on gas based captive power plants. Food companies swam against the tide with National Food (+5%) hitting its upper circuit beakers while Engro Foods +0.3% also saw a good intraday. Pakistan Telecom-0.3% saw decent volume on rumours that the govt will abolish APC component of tariff charges for international incoming calls hence making them more competitive versus grey trafficking. Electronics goods makers Pak Elektron +4.5% continued to rally in anticipation of strong earning growth expected for the quarter.

Selling in index heavy weight OGDC, LUCK, & ENGRO dragged market down. However interest was seen in mid cap stocks like PAEL which closed near its upper limit. Most of the investors have reduced their trading activities at year end.

Renewed activity was seen in PTC with volume of 25m shares, commented Samar Iqbal at Topline brokerage house.

The all-shares index declined by 78.50 and concluded the day at 23166.09, KSE 30-index dropped by 56.79 points and settled at 20722.90 while the junior KMI-30 decreased by 185.85 points level on the first working day.

Pak Elekton with 27.37m shares and per share price 40.49 (1.73), PTCL with 25.66 mn shares and price per share 22.72 (-060), BOP with 21.30m shares and per share price 11.00 (0.14), Summit Bank with 9.36m shares with per share price 4.41(0.03) and Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim with 8.09m shares were the volume leaders.

Volumes rose by 2% to 215m shares, while value declined by 12% to USD90m (value PKR9b).

Total traded volume in the market was 239,331,462 and in term of exchange value it was 10,445,061,078. The traded companies in the market were 364 of them 123 closed in positive, 219 negative whereas 22 remained unchanged.