Stocks end lower as investors remain cautious ahead of Eid holidays

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KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) moved within a narrow range ahead of Eid holidays, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index closing a lacklustre session in the red.

Foreign investors remained net sellers for the fourth consecutive session on Wednesday, registering a net outflow of $0.177 million.

According to an Arif Habib Ltd report, the last trading day before the long weekend brought nervousness among investors where at one end international crude prices were traded at a higher level, but local investors remained wary of the trading gap to be caused by Eid holidays.

“The cement sector realized price losses due to selling pressure, which has been persistent for the last couple of sessions,” the report stated. “The banking sector also fell prey to selling pressure, especially in the wake of Moody’s notification signalling a downgrade in rating.

In line with the recent trend, the KSE-100 Index started the day on a positive note, accumulating 116.19 points or +0.34pc to mark its intraday high at 34,049.00. It, however, slipped lower as the day progressed, recording its intraday low at 33,757.37 after shedding 175.44 points. The index finally closed lower by 96.20 points at 33,836.61.

Among other indices, the KMI 30 Index dropped 195.30 points to settle at 55,100.70, whereas the KSE All Share Index added 10.57 points, ending at 24,380.74. Of the total traded shares, 130 advanced and 160 declined.

The overall market volumes fell from 165.09 million shares in the last session to 147.21 million shares. Average traded value also declined by 15pc, from $42.7 million to $36.4 million. TRG Pakistan Limited (TRG -0.23pc), Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL -2.16pc) and Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF -1.96pc) led the volume chart, exchanging 18.38 million, 15.26 million and 7.17 million shares, respectively.

Sectors which dragged the KSE-100 Index lower included oil & gas marketing (-32.40 points), cement (-30.89 points) and banking (-26.70 points). Among the companies, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGP -15.19 points), Lucky Cement Limited (LUCK -13.31 points) and DG Khan Cement Company Limited (DGKC -11.03 points) dented the index the most.

Losing 1.46pc from its cumulative market cap, the refinery sector turned out to be the biggest loser of the day, with Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BYCO -1.39pc), Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL -1.65pc) and Attock Refinery Limited (ATRL -2.46pc) closing in the red.

On the financial side, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Limited (GSKCH +2.72pc) posted earnings per share (EPS) of Rs2.57 for the first quarter of FY20 (Rs1.43 in 1QFY19), Power Cement Limited (POWER +1.95pc) declared an EPS of Rs-1.30 for 3QFY20 (Rs0.01 in 3QFY19), while National Bank of Pakistan (NBP +0.04pc) announced an EPS of Rs1.94 for 1QFY20 (Rs1.97 last year).

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