Profit-taking triggers modest stock retreat after six-day rally

Our Correspondent
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

Stocks witnessed a modest decline on Tuesday as profit-taking followed a six-session streak of gains, dealers said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index fell by 60.92 points or 0.09 percent to close at 70,483.66 points. The KSE-30 index increased by 11.47 points or 0.05 percent to 23,202.56 points.

Analysts attributed the decline to concerns over institutional profit-taking. "Uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Pakistan-IMF (The International Monetary Fund) talks for a new bailout program and geopolitical tensions contributed to the cautious sentiment," said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp.

"IMF conditions for tax policy reforms, excise duties on industrials, weak global crude prices, and a slump in global equities played a pivotal role in the bearish close."

Traded shares decreased by 7 million shares to 548.418 million shares from 555.214 million shares. The trading value dropped to Rs21.023 billion from Rs21.986 billion. Market capital narrowed to Rs9.812 trillion against Rs9.824 trillion. Of 369 companies active in the session, 175 closed in green, 168 in red and 26 remained unchanged.

Naveed Nadeem, an analyst at Topline Securities, said the trading session wrapped up with the index closing at 70,484, indicating a slight decline of 0.09 percent or 61 points. "Throughout the day, the index displayed a mixed performance, hitting intraday highs and lows at 71,093 and 70,405 points, respectively."

Contributing to the index's negative movement were sectors like oil and gas marketing, power generation, fertilizer and cement where companies including FFC, EFERT, PSO, HUBC, and FCCL collectively shed 146 points. On the flip side, HBL, BAHL, and MARI made positive contributions, adding a combined total of 189 points.

The highest increase was recorded in Hallmark Company Limited shares, which rose by Rs47.97 to Rs696 per share, followed by Mari Petroleum Company Limited, which increased by Rs35.96 to Rs2,631.31 per share. A significant decline was noted in Unilever Pakistan Foods Limited, which fell by Rs101 to Rs20,699 per share, followed by Allawasaya Tex. & Finishing Mills Ltd, which closed lower by Rs97 to Rs1,255 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said an early gains on the PSX were relinquished as the benchmark index experienced its first decline following six consecutive positive closes.One notable performer was AIRLINK (+3.65 percent), which continued to threaten new highs with a trading volume of 19 million shares.

Looking ahead, analysts anticipate further immediate gains for the index above the 69,500 level, despite the day’s downturn. Investors are closely monitoring market developments and remain cautiously optimistic amidst fluctuating trading patterns.

WorldCall Telecom remained the volume leader with 91.610 million shares which closed lower by 3 paisas to Rs1.36 per share. Kohinoor Spining followed it with 34.395 million shares, which closed higher by 56 paisas to Rs4.88 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Air Link Commun, K-Electric Ltd., PIAC (A), Habib Bank, Fauji Foods Ltd, Fauji Cement, Hascol Petrol and Image Pakistan Right. In Future Market, 317 companies recorded trading, of which 121 increased, 181 decreased and 15 remained unchanged.