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KARACHI: Stocks recorded marginal losses on Friday as the KSE-100 index lost 41.20 points (0.11 per cent). The index closed at 39,049.08 points after hitting an intraday low of 310.10 points.

The investor response to the macro announcements — remittances, trade figures and auto sales — was mixed ending the week’s last session in red despite slight improvement in the volume.

In corporate alerts, Millat Tractors Ltd extended its plant shutdown for another week and announced plans to resume production by Jan 21 onwards.

Trading volume improved 10.3pc from yesterday’s 112.05 million shares to 123.58m. Stocks that contributed significantly include K-Electric, Sui Southern Gas Company, TRG Pakistan and Pak Elektron accounting for around 30pc of the total volume. Sector-wise, cement, tobacco, chemical sector took away most points from the index with Engro Corporation down 2.16pc, Dawood Hercules 3.38pc and Pak Tobacco 3.32pc.

According to figures released by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Ltd, foreigners were net buyers during the session with portfolio investment of $1.31m. The companies were the major sellers who seized the opportunity to take profit by selling stocks worth $4.53m, but it was partly absorbed by the insurance companies and brokers who collectively took fresh positions of $4.68m.

Other than that, negative report by Moody’s said Pakistan’s economy faces major challenges in 2019 as declining foreign exchange reserves are insufficient to pay off total public and private external debt.

Major contribution to the index downside came from Colgate-Palmolive, decreasing by 4.09pc, Exide Pakistan 4.67pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 0.32pc, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd 0.04pc, Atlas Battery 5pc and Mari Petroleum 0.61pc.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2019