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KARACHI: Following the massive recovery of 7.65 per cent last week, which represented the highest weekly increase in 10 years, the stock market on Monday consolidated as the KSE-100 index closed almost flat at 35,697.37, shedding a minor 6.44 points (0.02pc) after a volatile trade.

The stocks took off to a positive start building on last week’s momentum and the index rose to intraday high by 188 points. However, investors who had bought early last week switched positions to book profit earned which pulled the index to intraday low by 93 points. The first day of the futures rollover week also came into play when activity is usually seen to slow down.

Market sources affirmed that the investor interest in low-priced equity remains, but the news flow of a tough budget dissuaded them from taking fresh positions. There was some concern over the continuation of corporate tax rate cut as a departure from 1pc reduction every year until it reaches 25pc. Withdrawal of tax exemptions given to various sectors also kept investors guessing.

The volume declined 12pc over the previous session to 142m shares, while traded value also declined by 18pc to reach $33.3m. Stocks that contributed significantly included WorldCall, Maple Leaf, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGP), Unity Foods and Bank of Punjab, which formed 32pc of total volume.

Exploration and production sector closed lower as crude oil prices declined in the international market, where Pakistan Oilfields, lower by 1.5pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1.2pc and Oil and Gas Development Company 0.4pc were major movers of the mentioned sector.

Mixed sentiments were witnessed in cement where Maple Leaf and Pioneer closed with gains while Cherat, Fauji and Attock ended in the red.

Scrip-wise, Pakistan State Oil was up 3.68pc, SNGP 4.31pc, Searle Company 5pc, Bank Al Habib 1.16pc and Engro Corporation 0.71pc while Fauji Fertiliser, down 3.50pc, Pakistan Tobacco 3.51pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1.23pc, Pakistan Oilfields 1.54pc and National Bank 4.03pc dragged the index down.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2019