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Business

January 12, 2018

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Stocks slip on profit-taking; financial, cement shares weigh

Stocks saw a minor correction on Thursday as institutional investors opted for profit-taking amid widening trade deficit, while rising political noise due to police clashes with public in Punjab kept bulls on the back foot, dealers said.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said stocks closed bearish on investor concerns over economic uncertainty and trade deficit surging to $17.96 billion for July-December 2017.

“Dismal data on external account, ongoing political noise and late session institutional profit taking played a catalytic role in the bearish close at the PSX,” the analyst added.

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index shed 0.54 percent or 235.47 points to close at 43,395.28 points. KSE-30 shares index shed 0.61 percent or 135.01 points to close at 21,900.20 points. As many as 388 scrips were active of which 153 advanced, 221 declined and 14 remained unchanged.

The ready market volumes stood at 319.45 million shares as compared with the turnover of 327.761 million shares a day earlier.

Analyst Zain-ul-Abedin at Elixir Securities said equities closed lower finishing near 43,400 level after a blip towards 43,150 intra-day. “Starting to the day was on a positive note; however as the day progressed, institutional profit taking in key sectors including oils, financials and cements dragged the market lower in the red zone.”

Engro Corp (ENGRO), up 1.7 percent also contributed to the drag on the back of rumours of an enquiry by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. Meanwhile, Sui twins Sui Northern Gas (SNGP), up 2.4 percent and Sui Southern Gas (SSGC), up 4.4 percent remained in limelight as investors continued to build positions on optimism over the third LNG pipeline.

Overall, trading activity remained steady at a healthy level with 163 million shares changing hands on the benchmark index.

Going forward, analysts believe stock-wise consolidation will likely continue in near-term with KSE100 index trading in a 500-points range and finding support near 43,000 points level.

Companies reflecting highest gains include Rafhan Maize, up Rs269 to close at Rs7,200/share, and Wyeth Pakistan, up Rs87.81 to close at Rs1,844.16/share.

Companies reflecting most losses include Shield Corporation, down Rs23.72 to close at Rs451.28/share, and Shezan International, down Rs17 to end at Rs481/share.

Highest volumes were witnessed in Worldcall Telecom with a turnover of 20.58 million shares. The scrip shed seven paisas to close at Rs2.9/share. Sui Southern Gas was second with a turnover of 19.408 million shares. It gained Rs1.5 to close at Rs35.38/share. K-Electric was third with a turnover of 18.78 million shares. It shed 25 paisas to finish at Rs6.67/share.

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