Weekly review: Political tension keeps investors at bay

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KARACHI: (Parliament Times)  It was a relatively lack lustre week at the bourse with investors mostly cautious due to the ongoing Panama Papers case hearing. Reluctantly, subdued sentiments led the index to post a decline of 524 points or 1.2% over the preceding week, to close at 42,325 on November 18. With local political tension and geopolitical instability, the market remained range bound. Activity was mostly witnessed in sideboard stocks, following escalated standoff on the Pakistan-Indian border. However, the market proved its resilience with the index making a quick recovery on the last day of trading. Sectors that saw most activity during the week under review included transport, cement and commercial banks, up 9.7%, 5.8% and 1.1%, respectively. Additionally, the automobile sales data for October 2016 remained flat month-on-month with seasonal weakness in demand. Consequently, negative movements were seen in big stocks like Indus Motor. The end of Kharif sowing season meant the start of sugarcane crushing, which led to gains in almost the entire sugar sector. Sectors that failed to garner any support were power generation, food and personal care and automobile assemblers, declining 1.9%, 1.8% and 0.6% respectively. Selling was witnessed in PSO and Hubco after the news of deletion of the stocks from the MSCI’s Frontier Market Index. Hascol performed on the back of announcement that Dubai’s Vitol group was increasing its stake in the company from 15% to 25%. Some other stocks which performed during the week included Meezan Bank after the government reduced the statutory liquidity requirement for Islamic banks and their branches and Lucky Cement which performed as its coal power plant moved forward smoothly. The week was dominated by activity in selective stocks and sideboards as investor sentiments were dampened by political uncertainties. Foreigners persistently remained net sellers, with net $133 million worth of equities sold in 2016 and $75 million of net selling during the last two weeks alone. Average daily volumes for the week posted a decline of 7% week-on-week to 459 million shares while average daily value decreased 25% week-on-week to Rs14 billon ($134 million).Indus Dyeing & Manufacturing Company Ltd manufactures and sells yarn.