PSX losing streak enters fourth week

Pakistan stock market was on a wild roller-coaster ride in the outgoing week as the KSE-100 index moved in sync with the investors’ hopes and fears over the outcome of Financial Action Task Force decision to put Pakistan back on the terrorist-financing watch list.
After hitting the intra-week low of 42,919 points on Wednesday, the index closed the week with a loss of 360 points (0.80 per cent) at 43,267.
The investors’ concerns were exacerbated by political noise emanating from the apex court declaring Nawaz Sharif ineligible to continue as party head which was thought to lead to disarray in the Senate elections next month.
The fears were later put to rest as the Election Commission of Pakistan allowed PML-N candidates to contest Senate elections as ‘independent’ candidates. On the economic front, worries over the Pakistan’s external sector continued as January’s current account deficit came in at $1.6 billion, up 6.2pc month-on-month. The deficit in 7MFY17 was up a whopping 48pc despite the double digit export growth.
Foreigners continued to off-load their holdings, selling stocks worth $2.78 million during the week, taking the overall outflows during February to $31m versus inflow of $86m the preceding month.
Major foreign selling was witnessed in commercial banks ($3.9m), fertiliser ($3.9m) and technology and communication ($0.2m) sectors. On the local front, insurance firms were net buyers of $14.5m, followed by companies at $3.6m while individuals were net sellers of $11.2m and mutual funds of $6m.
During the week, investor activity remained muted with average daily traded volume declining by 7.46pc over the earlier week to 184m shares, though the average traded value improved by 10.4pc to $73m. Azgard Nine (61.55m shares), Dost Steels (61.4m), TRG Pakistan (51.09m), Lotte Chemical (42.6m) and Fauji Foods (40.25m) were the leaders.
Sector-wise, the decline during the week was primarily concentrated in the banks which contributed 199 points to the downside. Cement and oil and marketing companies were next in line, taking away 50 and 43 points respectively.
Oil and gas exploration companies were the largest gainers in the week, contributing 78 points to the index, followed by food and personal care products adding 20 points.
Major laggards were United Bank, decreasing by 68 points, MCB Bank 43 points, Oil and Gas Development Company 43 points and Fauji Cement 27 points. On the flip side, Lucky Cement 39 points and Nestle Pakistan 23 points made positive contributions.
Stock-specific activity was witnessed, led by announcements and expectations of corporate results with cements stocks like Pioneer Cement, down 9pc week-on-week and Maple Leaf 7pc felt the heat over the financial results.
Pakistan Oilfields made the biggest addition of 126 points. The rise came as Pakistan Petroleum Information Services data showed higher-than-estimated reserves at Jhandial field. Pak Elektron, shrinking by 5pc, came under pressure on Friday after World Bank announced the debarment of the company for 33 months.
Key news flows impacting the market during the week included: European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade passed the GSP+ scheme enabling Pakistan to enjoy preferential duties on exports for the next two years, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $18.829bn due to external debt servicing, government to retain 51pc PIA shares, import bill surged due to oil price spike.
Major result announcements for upcoming week are Gharbiwal Cement, Pakistan Petroleum, Mughal Steels, Nishat Chunian, Bank Alfalah, Searle Company and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline.