Pakistan equities close bearish amid Panama leaks havoc

KARACHI: Pakistan stocks closed bearish on Wednesday after three consecutive bullish sessions that pushed benchmark KSE100 higher by over 4.2%. The benchmark index remained range bound, trading between high of 45,809 points (+172 points) and low of 45,297 points (-339 points), to eventually close at 45,719 points, down 218 points.

Wider market gave back some of the recent gains and most index names traded volatile and witnessed profit booking as politics continues to attract most attention. “As courts hear case against Prime Minister and his family, we see earnings related excitement and payouts to be over shadowed by political noise there is a strong possibility that Supreme Court may decide on the ongoing case in days ahead; a move that may well bring an end to the stalemate”, analyst at Elixir Securities said.

Engro Corp dented index the most after company ended a meeting of the board with no corporate action while cements that gained the most on Tuesday topped the list of profit takers.

The 100 index was dragged down by ENGRO (-2.5%), UBL (-1.4%), LUCK (-1.4%), HUBC (-1.5%) and OGDC (-1.3%), which aggregately held back 153 points while DAWH (+4%), PPL (+1.4%), MARI (+2.7%), INDU (+2.7%) and APL (+4.4%) contributed 99 points to the green. On the sector front, Cements shed 81 points, Banks 52 points, Power 45 points, Fertilizer 37 points while OMC’s added 14 points and Autos 12 points.

Interest was seen in FABL (+5%) with the stock capping out for a second session running; the mid tier bank trades at an attractive Price to Book Value ratio (PBV) of around 0.7x.

Participation ticked up albeit in mid tiers; volumes rose 5% to 165.5 million shares, while traded value shed 1% to Rs8.9bn/ $84.9 million.

Shares of 361 companies changed hands at the bourse out of which 148 advanced, 200 declined and 13 remained unchanged.

Market analysts expect volatile market with very selective interest till clarity on politics, however, benchmark may find a base near current levels and trade in a range of 300-500 points in days ahead.

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