Stocks end lower on poor economic data | Business

Stocks ended lower on Wednesday as risk appetite waned after economic data showed a blooming fiscal deficit in August and a much higher than expected increase in inflation numbers, dealers said.

 Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp said stocks closed bearish on concerns over Rs1.8 trillion fiscal deficit and dismal CPI inflation data for August. “Pressure remained in oil and banking stocks on uncertain global crude prices and weak banking spreads.”

The Pakistan Stock Exchange benchmark KSE-100 shares index shed 0.93 percent or 389.21 points to close at 41,389.99 points. KSE-30 shares index fell 1.05 percent or 224.12 points to close at 21,083.38 points. As many as 387 scrips were active of which 97 advanced, 272 declined and 18 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 147.819 million shares as compared with the turnover of 107.766 million shares a day earlier.

Dealers said equities closed lower wiping out most of Tuesday’s gains on institutional selling. Market was off to a good start as stocks carried momentum and the advanced as much as 0.6 percent in early trade, however, the index increase was underscored by lower volumes that led to bears taking control. An analyst at Elixir Securities said Habib Bank (HBL), down 5 percent, remained the laggard, however churned volumes of about 6 million shares, highest since August 01, 2017, as investors hope of a bounce back after near 26 percent losses since potential penalty announcement last month. “We do see sharp volatility ahead with flows guiding stock direction and possibly some stability by end of the month when hearing for review of the said fine is due.”

Major sectors including cements and financials closed lower on selling pressure, while sideboards too followed suit on retail selling.

Pakistan Petroleum (PPL), surged 1.5 percent, bucking the downtrend on OGRA’s notification of increase in wellhead gas prices. Going forward, analysts see volatile trading with index consolidating near current levels while flows primarily from foreigners will likely play a crucial role in regaining the investors’ confidence in days ahead.

Companies reflecting highest gains include Unilever Foods up Rs120 to close at Rs6520/share and Sanofi Aventis up Rs77.14 to close at Rs1,722.50/share.

Companies reflecting most losses include Khyber Tobacco down Rs41.79 to close at Rs794.21/share and Wyeth Pakistan down Rs35 to end at Rs2,150/share.  

Highest volumes were witnessed in TRG Pakistan with a turnover of 16.036 million shares. The scrip gained 10 paisas to close at Rs37.24/share.

JS Bank was second with a turnover of 12.535 million shares. It shed 10 paisas to close at Rs8.15/share.

Aisha Steel Mill was third with a turnover of 8.26 million shares. It shed 49 paisas to finish at Rs19.49/share.

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