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Stocks plunge 327 points

Updated November 24, 2017

KARACHI: Stocks were badly battered on Thursday and the KSE-100 index bled profusely by 326.67 points (0.80 per cent) to close at 40,266.21.

After a brief spurt of buying in early hours, investors began to jettison shares as the roll-over week pressure was felt with no positive triggers to stabilise the market.

But the selling intensified on news that the finance minister had been granted indefinite medical leave which everyone understood to mean his ouster, raising doubts on the continuation of current macroeconomic policies. For the foreign investors who sold stocks worth $2.17m, it also raised the spectre of a potential loss in case of an early depreciation of the rupee.

The volume was down 35pc over the previous day to 102m shares while the traded value was up 1pc to Rs5.37bn.

Meanwhile, K-Electric lost 3.6pc from Wednesday’s sharp gains of 10pc as excitement over Shanghai Electric Power deal subsided. However, it stood on top of the volume leaders list with trading in 9m shares.

Elixir Securities pointed out that the major dent on KSE-100 index came from Hub Power which fell 2.8pc and PSO 3.3pc as both remained on seller’s radar post government’s closure of furnace oil-based power plants.

Engro Corp also extended declines by 1.9pc. Other laggards included PAKT down 5pc and Nestle lower by 3.5pc. Gainers were fewer in number and none except Faisal Spinning adding a double-digit gain.

PPL was down 0.8pc, OGDC 0.3pc and POL 0.1pc in the E&P sector.

Analyst at JS Global stated that mixed sentiments were observed in the banking sector on anticipation of a possible unchanged policy rate in the upcoming monetary policy. NBP fell 0.8pc, HBL 0.3pc and UBL 0.8pc while MCB was up 0.4pc and BAFL 0.4pc were gainers.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2017