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KARACHI: The stock market on Friday remained choppy with the KSE-100 index trading a narrow band as most investors peeved by rising political noise and dearth of positive triggers preferred to remain on the sidelines. The index fell 24.85 points (0.06 per cent) to close at 42,750.19.

Wider market activity also took a plunge as evident from the volume, which slid to 132 million shares from 166m a day ago. The traded value also receded to Rs5.4 billion from Rs8.7bn.

“It seems as if the Friday factor combined with the ongoing political flux kept market participants on the sidelines. Energy, utilities and consumer staples succumbed to selling pressure in the end with OGDC down 0.35pc, EFOODS 1.34pc, PAKT 4.32pc, Nestle 0.77pc, MUREB 4.98pc, PSO 0.52pc, NRL 0.83pc, SNGP 2.06pc, SSGC 1.82pc and PPL 0.96pc,” stated analysts at Intermarket Securities.

Khurram Schehzad, Chief Operating Officer at JS Global, asserted that it has to be observed that except for the last two days of the week, the market was stabilising at slightly higher levels due to some changes for the better on the political front. He pointed out that foreigners were also cherry-picking, which had started to restore investor confidence in the market.

Fauji Fertiliser shed 3.4pc, Sui Northern Gas Co 2.6pc and Pakistan Petroleum 1.1pc, taking away which dented the index by 70 points, while index-heavy United Bank gained 2pc and MCB Bank 1.3pc, Elixir Securities said.

Analysts said that since the rollover week for Deliverable Futures Contract was to start from Monday, they expected a rise in market volatility if participation remained dismal during the coming week.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2017