KARACHI: The stock market continued its downward journey for the third day in a row as the KSE-100 index shed another 385 points (0.91 per cent) to close at 41,863.52 on Thursday.

The benchmark index so far witnessed an erosion of almost 600 points in the ongoing bearish run.

Market started the day off on a bearish tone, posting intraday high of 24 and a low of 590 points, respectively. However, a stellar 46pc growth in bottom-line profits of National Bank, which closed the session higher by 1.58pc, helped index recover slightly from its lows.

Sell-off in fertiliser scrips worsened after yesterday’s Economic Coordination Committee’s meeting decided to form a committee under the chairmanship of Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood to hold discussions with the industry. According to initial reports, the finance ministry may urge fertiliser producers to pass extra gains of Rs10 billion to consumers. The sector was primarily responsible for today’s decline contributing 196 points to the slide.

In cement sector, Lucky Cement fell 3.23pc, Cherat Cement 2.55pc and DG Khan Cement 0.42pc. Additional drag came from foreigners who offloaded net equity worth $3m in commercial banks, while the individuals bought shares worth over $2m.

The traded volume improved by 42pc day-on-day to 191 million shares while the value increased to $67m.

Habib Bank, down 1.44pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 0.60pc, Engro Corporation 3.41pc, MCB Bank 0.61pc, UBL 0.22pc and Lucky Cement 3.23pc cumulatively dragged the index down by 181 points. On the flip side, stocks which closed the session positive included Colgate-Palmolive up 5pc, Pakistan Tobacco 5pc, Hascol Petroleum 2.72pc and Packages Ltd 1.61pc.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018

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