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KARACHI: Traders were seen sitting idle at the stock market on Thursday as investors remained on the sidelines. Except for some stray orders of punters and day traders, institutions and large net-worth individuals decided to wait for another day.

The KSE-100 Index dro­pped 65.97 points (0.16pc) and closed at 40,638.83.

The day’s significant feature was the lack of interest manifest in traded volume dipping to just 97 million shares - the lowest single session turnover in the last 39 sessions. An analyst recalled that it was only the third time in five months where volume remained below 100m shares. The average traded value declined by 28pc to $35.3m.

Two events that restrained investors from taking fresh positions were; the monetary policy expected on Nov 30 where most analysts anticipate interest rate hike by 1pc; and the MSCI rebalancing sell-off at end of trading on Nov 30, where market expects outflow of somewhere around $30-$40m in shares of United Bank and Lucky Cement.

Foreign investors sold stocks worth $2.75m, which added to the previous day’s heavy sell-off, also spooked investors. Foreign selling month-to-date stands at a massive $63m, taking the 2018 to-date net outflows to $473m.

Other issues that poured cold water over investors’ enthusiasm were the steep decline in international oil and other commodity prices. The free-fall in global oil prices brought about additional pressure on the exploration and production stocks, taking away the highest of 56 points.

Major contribution to the index downside came from Pakistan Oilfields, down 1.06pc, Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan 4.14pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 0.63pc, Pakistan State Oil 1.17pc and Mari Petroleum 1.61pc, scrapping off 63 points. On the flip side, Habib Bank, up 1.14pc, Pakistan Tobacco 2.40pc and National Refinery 5pc added 47 points.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2018