Stocks lose 445 points on mutual fund selling

Updated February 09, 2019

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Investors remained concerned over major issues such as the delay in the settlement of a bailout package with the IMF. — File
Investors remained concerned over major issues such as the delay in the settlement of a bailout package with the IMF. — File

KARACHI: For the third session in a row, the market continued to be dominated by the bears, which pulled the KSE-100 index down by 445.4 points (1.08 per cent) which settled at 40,887.35.

Investors remained concerned over major issues such as the delay in the settlement of a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund; an uncertain situation on the externals beyond the exhaustion of amount received in aid from friendly countries and the nervousness on holding positions over the week-end. Investors visualised the Prime Minister’s upcoming day long visit to Dubai with cautious optimism.

Figures released by the National Clearing Company Ltd showed ample buying of $7.52 million by local individuals well-supported by the foreign investors who continued their buying spree with an inflow of $3.13m; mutual funds spoilt the broth with a massive selling of shares in the sum of $13.38m. An asset manager of a mid-tier fund feigned ignorance about redemptions, but admitted that funds may have sold to keep safe their ‘Capital Protected Funds’.

Market trades turned choppy by the end of the second session on Friday when investors offloaded positions ahead of the week-end. Volumes increased 22pc over the previous day to 169m shares. Average traded value also increased by 41pc to reach $61.7m. Sector-wise activity was mainly observed in power, cement and chemical sectors, whereas banking sector apparently lost investors’ interest which took away 132 points. Analysts attribute the bearish activity to impact of S&P downgrade of sovereign credit ratings; weak data on cement sales for Jan 19, falling global crude oil prices and worries over the pending circular debt in the energy sector.

Major contribution to the index downside came from Habib Bank Ltd down 2.02pc, Hub Power Company 1.81pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 1.54pc, Engro Corporation 1.39pc and Pakistan Oilfields Ltd 2.02pc taking away 167 points. On the flip side, Fauji Fertiliser Company was up 1.25pc adding 20 points.

Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2019