KSE loses 31 points on Friday
KARACHI: Preferring to enjoy their holidays, investors, on the last working day, remained busy squaring positions in order to stay out of the stocks in case it dropped further selling heavily, which pushed the KSE-100 Index down, another 31.29 points or 1.26 percent to close at 2,448.66.
“Due to the war euphoria, there is panic in the market, which in turn is making institutions and punters remain on the sidelines and refrain from fresh investments,” said Faisal Abbas, equities dealer at Ali Husain Rajabali Ltd, a local brokerage house. The Iraq crisis is dominating the market, as the outcome is still uncertain. “Despite lucrative yields no one wants to make fresh investments,” Mr. Abbas said.
Trading started on a bearish note, with the bears dominating sentiments throughout the day due to the holidays. This stopped the bulls, who tried but couldn’t enter the market all day. Selling pressure continued throughout the day as buying was not witnessed at any level, which shook market confidence. Lack of trading interest quickly turned the market into a lackluster with major and sideboard stocks suffering a selling pressure in both sessions.
“The market remained directionless, as market players could not find any reason to take fresh positions,” said Raheel Moosani, director equities at Moosani Securities, a local brokerage house. Market players are not coming even for short term buying and as the index gained some points, selling pressure started, which indicated a panicky situation, he said.
Hub Power Company (Hubco) remained volume leader with 26 million shares traded but lost 55 paisas to close at Rs 34.95. Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) lost 45 paisas to close at Rs 20.95 with 11 million shares traded. Pakistan State Oil (PSO) lost Rs 5.75 to close at Rs 190.50 with 11 million shares traded.
The US president’s speech remained the focal point, where he announced his intentions to attack Iraq with or without a UN Security Council resolution. “War jitters spurred a sharp sell-off, and gave no chance to the bulls to consolidate at any level,” said Khalid Iqbal, an analyst at Invest Capital & Securities, a local brokerage house. Nagging worries at the domestic front also contributed in chaining up market activities. “Market players are worried of the law and order situation, as violence before Muharram has shaken investor confidence as well,” Mr. Iqbal said.
Total trading volume decreased by 27.5 percent to 81 million shares. Out of a total of 254 active stocks, 55 gained, 158 lost value and 41 remained unchanged.
Analysts are forecasting the bearish trend would continue during next week as well. “The market will remain directionless, as the Iraq crisis is dominating in the market,” said Murad Ansari, an analyst at Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari & Company, a local brokerage house. The market will react accordingly over the Iraq issue, he said.
“The market movements are completely dependent on the Iraq situation next week,” said Zaheeruddin Khalid, head of research at First Capital Equities, a local brokerage house. The delay of war is damaging market sentiments because no one is ready to take fresh positions in the wake of a possible attack, he said.
Technical analysts are predicting the market will move on a narrow range and on the first day of the new week, the market will gain support at 2,440 and will resist going up at 2,510 level.