Bearish trend continued on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) and the benchmark KSE-100 index declined by 321.96 points to close at 48,888.54 points on Monday. Selling was seen by both local and foreign investors. The foreign investors remained net sellers of shares worth $12.2 million.
Trading activities also remained low as the daily trading volumes on ready counter decreased to 316.062 million shares as compared to 514.224 million shares traded on previous session. Total market capitalisation decreased by Rs 54 billion to Rs 9.805 trillion. Out of total 419 active scrips, 269 closed in negative and 133 in positive while the value of 17 stocks remained unchanged.
K-Electric was the volume leader with 22.746 million shares and gained Rs 0.21 to close at Rs 9.46 followed by Sui Southern Gas Company that lost Rs 0.90 to close at Rs 38.64 with 18.177 million shares. Engro Fertilizer increased by Rs 0.80 to close at Rs 70.39 with 16.943 million shares.
Mari Petroleum and Ghandhara Industries were the top gainers increasing by Rs 47.69 and Rs 46.55 respectively to close at Rs 1455.28 and Rs 977.59 while Unilever Foods and Rafhan Maize were the top losers declining by Rs 235.00 and Rs 230.00 respectively to close at Rs 5750.00 and Rs 7810.00.
Nabeel Haroon at JS Global Capital said that bearish trend prevailed as the market, after opening on a positive note, soon came under pressure. Banking sector led the decline in the market, as the index heavyweights HBL, MCB and UBL declined by 2.26 percent, 2.06 percent and 4.49 percent respectively. Fertilizer sector gained on the back of the news that subsidy on fertilizer sector has been restored on the directives of the Prime Minister in an effort to facilitate farmers. The FFBL and EFERT were major gainers of this sector and increased by 1.25 percent and 1.15 percent respectively. The SNGP gained 5.0 percent and closed on its upper circuit on the back of news that the gas utility has curtailed its UFG losses by 825mmcfd in the Lahore region.
Zeeshan Afzal at Insight Securities said that the regulation of mutual funds to keep 5 percent of their total assets in cash kept the local bourse in narrow range for the day. Moreover, political instability amid daily proceedings on Panama leak case coupled with announcement of protest by Pakistan People''s Party from 19th of this month also affected market sentiments.