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KARACHI: The market mood was clouded from the very start of trading on Tuesday as the KSE-100 index opened in the negative and remained bearish throughout the day.

After touching intraday low by 318 points, it recovered some of the ground and closed with loss of 241.83 points (0.65 per cent) at 36,784.44.

It was the second successive day of market decline as investors were spooked by uncertainty surrounding the International Monetary Fund bailout, amnesty scheme and the upcoming budget. The market watched out for any indication on measures proposed by IMF technical team which is in talks with Pakistan for $8bn package and negotiations are likely to continue up to May 7.

They IMF condition could have impact on the key revenue measures for upcoming federal budget. Foreign investors accumulated shares valued at $2.3 million, while mutual funds continued to offload stocks worth $4.7m.

Exploration and production (E&P), cement and banking sector remained top laggards which together wiped off 887 points from the index. “Investors sentiments in E&Ps were affected after offshore drilling hit a snag, while cement remained under pressure due to slippage in cement prices as difference of opinion still prevails among manufacturers over pricing,” stated analysts.

Market participation decreased 38pc to 82.5m shares. Major contribution to total volume came from Unity Foods, Pak Elektron and Bank of Punjab churning 28m shares out of the total turnover of 110.6m. Traded value decreased to Rs4.62 billion, from Rs6.33bn.

Major contribution to the index downside came from Hub Power, decreasing by 2.12pc, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) 1.42pc, Oil and Gas Development Company 1.17pc, Pakistan State Oil 2.62pc and Engro Corporation 0.85pc, taking away 119 points. On the flip side, United Bank, up 1.21pc, Nestle Pakistan 1.57pc and Philip Morris Pakistan 4.51pc added 40 points.

For the outgoing month, the index lost 1,864 points (4.83pc) with major draggers being PPL, lower by 8.38pc, Lucky Cement 9.30pc and Searle Company 21.71pc, scrapping off 396 points.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2019