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KARACHI: Contrary to expectations of jubilation over the oath-taking ceremony by the newly elected national assembly, the stock market opened on a gloomy note and continued to trade in the red throughout the day. The KSE-100 index lost 204.59 points (0.48 per cent) to settle at 42,637.59.

Investors seemed to be worried over the country’s deteriorating economic outlook. Analysts said the deepening financial crisis in Turkey (lira has plummeted by more than 40pc this year) shattered the confidence of the emerging market, thereby affecting local sentiments.

Participants also showed dull interest due to ongoing accountability court’s investigations in money laundering cases. Major Nishat Group scrips, including DG Khan Cement, Nishat Mills, MCB, Nishat Chunian, Nishat Power and Nishat Chunian cumulatively lost approximately Rs10.05 billion from the group’s market value as its founder Mian Mansha was being investigated in money laundering case.

The volume plunged 35pc over the previous session to 250 million while the traded value declined by 35pc to reach Rs8.05bn. Pak Elektron, Worldcall, Lotte Chemical, Engro Polymer and Chemicals and Unity Foods came out as the leaders, reflecting 27pc of the total turnover.

Foreign investors stayed on the sidelines, while mutual funds maintained buying on dip stance rather than going aggressive. Sectors contributing to the index decline included cement, lower by 55 points, banks 48 points, fertiliser 40 points, power 23 points, textile 16 points while oil and gas marketing companies added 25 points.

Major decliners were Habib Bank, down 1.67pc, MCB 1.60pc, Dawood Hercules 3.13pc, DG Khan Cement 4.83pc and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines 3.41pc, taking away 147 points. On the flip side, Pakistan State Oil, up 4.58pc, Bank Al Habib 2.62pc and Bank Alfalah 1.57pc added 90 points.

Market was expected to remain range-bound in the near term. The exchange would remain closed today on account of the national independence day.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2018