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February 15, 2018

Stocks close down on political uncertainty


February 15, 2018

Stocks fell on Wednesday as political uncertainty after an anti-graft body requested the government to bar former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to travel abroad dampened investor sentiment, dealers said.

“The investors turned to profit taking on reports that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had requested interior minister to place names of former prime minister, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (Retd) Safdar on the exit control list as the Sharif family is facing three NAB references,” Topline Securities said in a post market report. “Further, investors weigh economic indicators as increasing pressure on foreign exchange reserves clouds Pakistan’s external position.”

Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index shed 0.77 percent or 337.32 points to close at 43,353.04 points. KSE-30 shares index gained 0.58 percent or 126.25 points to close at 21,665.14 points. As many as 370 scrips were active of which 76 advanced, 280 declined and 14 remained unchanged.

The ready market volumes stood at 206.98 million shares as compared with the turnover of 203.68 million shares a day earlier.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said stocks fell across the board amid reports of meager $336 million US budget approval for assistance and aid to Pakistan.

“Late session support remained in banking scrips amid speculations ahead of year end results, however, political uncertainty, weak global crude oil prices and foreign outflows played a catalytic role in bearish close at the PSX.”

Spur in heavyweight banks was witnessed where Habib Bank, up 3.31 percent, United Bank, up 1.82 percent, Allied Bank, up 0.86 percent and MCB Bank, up 0.2 percent closed in the green on the back of Supreme Court observed fixing minimum rate of banks’ pension as Rs8,000 and annually increasing at a rate of five percent with prospective effect.

Bank Al-Habib, down 1.25 percent, Meezan Bank, down 3.39 percent witnessed profit taking as their corporate earnings came below market expectations.

In the E&P sector, Pakistan Petroleum, down 0.08 percent and Oil & Gas Development Company down 0.48 percent closed in the red.

Moving forward, analysts expect market to remain volatile with flows from local institutions and foreigners directing the market.

Companies reflecting highest gains include Island Textile up Rs47 to close at Rs1,075/share and Shezan International up Rs23.99 to close at Rs564.99/share.

Companies reflecting most losses include Rafhan Maize down Rs100 to close at Rs7,300/share and Wyeth Pakistan down Rs92.81 to end at Rs1,797.19/share.

Highest volumes were witnessed in Unity Foods with a turnover of 11.46 million shares. The scrip shed Rs1.26 to close at Rs24.76/share. Fauji Foods was second with a turnover of 11.40 million shares. It shed Rs1.33 to close at Rs25.36/share. K-electric was third with a turnover of 10.67 million shares. It shed 18 paisas to close at Rs6.38.

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