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KARACHI: The index managed to snap four-day losing streak on Tuesday as investors tracked the previous day’s Economic Coordination Committee’s (ECC) decision to postpone the gas price increase coupled with expectations of textile package which was rumoured to reduce energy tariff for manufacturers.

Although the KSE-100 index closed with marginal gains of 75.48 points (0.19 per cent) at 40,759.53, investors were comforted over the floor under the market fall that had seen it sink by 1,070 points.

The market kicked off to a positive start but soon succumbed to selling pressure from nervous investors ahead of the presentation of the Finance Bill on Friday, which was thought to consider revision of major macroeconomic budgetary targets to control the widening deficits. Mid- and small-cap stocks helped market recover towards the end as day traders and bargain hunters took advantage of low prices.

After hitting the intraday low by 164 points, renewed buying interest largely reinvigorated the steel, exploration and production, textile, food and oil marketing sectors that saw the index advance by 259 points.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Asad Umar’s assurance of reducing the energy tariffs for export-oriented sectors and expectations of further depreciation of the rupee put the textile sector in the spotlight where Nishat Mills, Gul Ahmed Textile Mills, Nishat Chunian and Gadoon Textile Mills, all closed at their respective upper circuits. Hub Power and Pakistan Petroleum also provided some respite.

The volume saw healthy improvement of 24pc over the previous day to 140m shares, while the average traded value also jumped 37pc to Rs5.76 billion.

However, most top-tier banks continued to tumble. Habib Bank, United Bank and MCB saw decline in prices which kept the index under severe pressure and the sector lost 63 points overall. Automobile also closed in the red, eroding 22 points whereas exploration and production added 44 points, followed by power 42 points, textile 33 points and oil and gas marketing companies 21 points.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018