Pakistan stocks waver as holidays approach

KARACHI: Pakistan stocks wobbled on the last day ahead of the long weekend. Stocks traced last session’s trend of opening positive and soon dissipating all gains. Investors remained vigilant in the absence of any major positive trigger, volatile crude oil prices and continuous selling by foreigners.

The benchmark KSE-100 bulged 65.01pts on Wednesday but settled at 32,500.75 down 140.34pts. KMI 30 index appreciated 141.37 points but could not sustain the gains and laid off 455.72 points by day end to close at 54,715.48. KSE All Share touched a high of 48.87 points and ended lower by 104.62 points at 22,586.94.

The 33.02% elevation in market volumes was a considerable positive of the session. Volume for the day stood at 104.504 million. A rebound by Habib Bank Limited (HBL +1.20%) lifted the commercial bank sector on top of the volume chart with a cumulative volume of 13.94 million. None of the banks except Summit Bank Limited (SMBL +4.05%) could impress much. MCB Bank Limited (MCB) acquired only 0.36% while United Bank Limited (UBL) shed 0.07%.

The oil and gas marketing sector bagged second position on the volume chart with 11.6 million shares. Twins Sui Northern Gas Pipe Line Limited (SNGP -4.08%) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC -3.96%), both with over 5 million shares traded, contributed 94% to the sector volume. The duo fell after Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) refused a hike in gas prices. SSGC took a hit of statement by Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. He expressed fear of the company sinking with Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). PSM owes over Rs 35 billion to the entity whose equity is valued at Rs 18 billion. He further clarified that a proposal of transferring PSM land to SSGC has been sent to the government with no progress till date.

The oil and gas exploration sector remained fragile. Oil and Gas Development Authority (OGDC +0.03%) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL +0.15%) were slightly up while Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL -0.22%) and Mari Petroleum Limited (MARI 1.76%) were down.

Fertiliser stocks that rose on Tuesday gave away all gains. The whole sector was in red with Arif Habib Corporation Limited (AHCL) down 2.43%, Dawood Hercules Corporation Limited (DAWH) by 2.00% and Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim (FFBL) by 2.47%. Packages Limited (PKGS -0.33%) called an extra ordinary general meeting on January 21st. Agenda of the meeting includes confirming minutes of AGM held on April 16, 2015 and approval of investment up to Rs 366,666,625 in rights share of associated company Tri Pack Films Limited.

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