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KARACHI: Shares turned bearish on Friday on concerns over the disturbing political atmosphere, profit-taking due to Friday factor, worries regarding redemptions from mutual funds and issues resurfacing pertinent to macro-economic indicators.

Some market watchers also voiced concerns on the possibility of a negative outlook in the MSCI Emerging Markets index semiannual review. The index hovered between the intra-day high by 41 points and low by 641 points eventually closed declining by 461.56 points (1.06 per cent) at 42,933.72.

Foreign investors rema­ined unruffled by the market volatility and added stocks worth $7.1 million to their portfolios. Among the local participants, retail investors were the panic-prone being the lead sellers of shares valued at $3.8 million.

The volume contracted 23pc over the earlier day to 239m shares with major contribution of 31pc to the turnover coming from TRG Pakistan, WorldCall Telecom, Azgard Nine, Sui Southern Gas and Lotte Chemical Pakistan. The traded value also contracted by 25pc day-on-day to Rs10.3 billion. All the key sectors were weighed down by profit taking. Cement shed 81 points, fertiliser 56, oil & gas sector 95 and steel 39 points.

Major laggards were Pakistan State Oil, down 3.88pc, D.G. Khan Cement 4.93pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 1.41pc, Engro Corporation 1.69pc and United Bank 1.14pc, scrapping off 158 points. Investors opted to book profit in the cement sector as D.G. Khan Cement lost 4.93pc, Kohat Cement 2.19pc, Maple Leaf Cement 2.21pc and Lucky Cement 0.01pc. On the flip side, Habib Bank increased by 0.73pc, Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan 4.96pc and Pakistan Oilfields 0.73pc added 44 points to the index. The engineering sector remained under the hammer with International Steels, decreasing by 5pc, Amreli Steels 4.07pc and International Industries 3pc were severely battered.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2018