Political noise drags KSE-100 down


Amanullah Khan
Adhering to its norm, the stock market continued its downward journey on Friday as the political climate kept the bourse under pressure. The KSE-100 index fell from the word go, but managed to recover slightly before midday break. However, in the later session, the index again fell to finish trading in the red zone. At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 345.53 points or 0.76% at 45,288.49. According to Elixir Securities, Pakistan equities extended losses on Friday with the benchmark KSE-100 index dipping further to 45,300 points. “Activity in the wider market also painted a dreary picture with only 114 million shares changing hands on the KSE All-share Index, down 35% versus Thursday and 46% versus this week’s average.” The market traded in the negative territory from the word go as index names across major sectors carried bearish momentum and slid lower in dull trading. Institutional investors likely refrained from participating aggressively in the wake of domestic political noise while most retail investors also preferred to stay on the side-lines ahead of long holidays. Engro Foods (-5%) hit its lower price limit after posting poor results while Habib Bank (-1.2%) too traded in the red after announcing slightly lower-than-expected quarterly earnings. HBL (-1.41%) from the commercial banking sector posted its 1H2017 results with earnings per share (EPS) of Rs11.64, down 2% year-on-year, and a dividend per share of Rs3.50. Also results for Engro Foods (-5%) for 1H2017 were unveiled, in which the company announced EPS of Rs0.24, down 91% year-on-year.