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KARACHI: Selling streak at the stock market continued for fourth consecutive day with the KSE-100 index, drifting down by another 104.19 points (0.28 per cent) and settle at 36,663.38.

The market started on a positive note and climbed by intraday high of 571 points as institutions cherry-picked at low valuations. Reports of possible reduction in taxes on stock transactions and the scheduled presentation of the International Monetary Fund package in parliament for approval in upcoming session helped improve investors’ sentiments.

But optimism proved short-lived and the index succumbed to selling pressure on worries over macroeconomic situation and the uncertainty of Pakistan’s forward position in MSCI FM index. The benchmark touched intraday low by 104 points at which the trading session concluded.

The volume was up 10pc to 182 million shares while value traded fell by 10pc to Rs5.45 billion. Worldcall Telecom and Bank of Punjab were leaders, as collectively 48m shares changed hands in the two companies.

Four out of the five stocks representing Pakistan in MSCI emerging market index fell, together taking out 119 points, led by United Bank, Lucky Cement, Habib Bank and MCB were down. Engro Corporation traded under pressure after fina­nce minister directed petroleum ministry to review LNG terminal’s contract.

Market also took notice of early retirement of Engro Fertiliser’s CEO Ruhail Mohammad. Oil and gas exploration companies took the cue from rise in international oil prices. Pakistan Petroleum, increasing by 2.2pc and Pakistan Oilfields 3pc were lead gainers of the exploration and production sector, making it the best performer of the day with addition of 105 positive points. Commercial banks and cement were the major drags.

Major decliners were United Bank, lower by 2.81pc, Fauji Fertiliser 2.97pc, Lucky Cement 3.33pc, Habib Bank 1.68pc and Engro Corporation 1.25pc, shedding 173 points.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2018