The Karachi share market Friday ended lower and closed at 32,605.62 points from 32,617.74 of Thursday. The KSE-100 index lost 12.12 points or 0.04 percent amid thin trading activity a day before monetary policy announcement on Saturday. The benchmark index moved both ways by hitting the session high and low of 32,750.03 and 32,528.81 points, respectively.
The trading turnover reduced to 75.46 million shares from Rs 80.34 million of the previous trading session. The traded value contracted to Rs 3.5 billion as compared to Rs 3.9 billion of last session. In total, 325 scrips were traded most of which, 174, depreciated while 129 posted gains. Rates of 22 cos stayed unchanged.
The market capitalisation accumulated to Rs 7.08 trillion. Foreign portfolio investment witnessed a net selling of $0.468 million. Bank of Punjab led the day''s volume with 4.8 million turnover. The public sector banking stock slid to Rs 9.16. Other nine issues that performed well included Hum Network 4.4 million, K-Electric 4.3 million, Byco Petroleum 3.5 million, Pak Elektron 3.4 million, Pak Refinery 3.1 million, Jahangir Siddiqui Company 2.8 million, NIB Bank 2.4 million, Fauji Cement 2.1 million and Attock Refinery 1.3 million.
Futures trade, however, closed upward at 7.23 million contracts against 6.51 million. Analyst Ahsen Mehanti said investors remained cautious ahead of monetary policy announcement today (Saturday). "Institutional support in oil stocks after recovery in global crude prices led the index to close above session lows," he added. The day''s catalyst, Mehanti said, were selling pressure in blue-chip stocks amid concerns for ongoing security unrest in Saudi-Yemen conflict and pre-budget uncertainty.
"The market witnessed lacklustre volumes for most part of the day," said JS analyst Umair Hasan. He said investors, cautious ahead of federal budget, remained largely on the sidelines. Sideboard scrips, Hasan said, witnessed trading for most part of the day with KEL, PAEL, PRLR and JSCL staying in the limelight.
Investors'' anticipation of a likely rate-cut by the central bank helped them develop interest in highly-leveraged stocks. This helped the cement scrips end the day on a positive note with FCCL, MLCF and KOHC gaining 0.1, 0.2 and 0.6 percent. The banks largely appeared as losers, thanks to discount rate cut expectations. The BAHL, FABL and NBP shed 0.2, 0.9 and 0.2 percent. The index heavyweight oil and gas sector slightly recovered as PSO, POL and PPL ended higher by 0.7, 0.6 and 0.3 percent. Under pressure, the fertiliser scrips felt the heat of GIDC Act. EFERT and ENGRO lost 0.3 and 0.6 percent. The analysts expect the interest of mutual funds and foreigners in highly-leveraged scrips moving forward.