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Stocks suffer marginal fall as oil prices retreat

Stocks suffer marginal fall as oil prices retreat

KARACHI: Stocks closed flattish on Monday with the KSE-100 index slightly bruised by 7.15 points at 33,759.97.

The session opened on a bearish note and the index dived 134 points as investors were perturbed over the retreat in oil prices prompted by the failure to reach an agreement in Doha.

The bourse followed the global markets which mostly closed in the red. As a result, the index heavyweights were the major laggards: OGDC 1.23pc, PPL 1.06pc and POL 1.80pc.

The turnover declined to 157m shares of Rs7.4 billion value.

“Investors sought more clarity on the political front before making further allocations,” said a market participant.

SNGP closed at its upper-limit (5pc) and was the volume leader as the company was allowed return on LNG pipeline assets. The announcement attracted interest in SSGC, which also closed at its upper-limit.

Fauji Cement (down 1.29pc) saw profit-taking after announcing nine-month earnings per share of Rs3.14.

The refining sector continued to outperform led by Attock Refinery (up 5pc) as the company was the first to complete isomerisation of its plant which should help it to produce more motor oil gas, which is a high margin product.

“The banking sector provided a major support to the index led by Habib Bank (0.74pc) which gets the permission to set up a branch in China’s city of Urumqi that borders Pakistan along the traditional Silk route,” pointed out dealers at Global Securities.

Analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp stated that foreign outflows, weak global equities and falling crude prices played a catalyst role in the bearish close.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2016

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