Stocks lose 248 points in volatile session

Updated September 04, 2019

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Market opened positive, extending earlier gains to mark intraday high of 190 points then succumbed to selling pressure. — AFP/File
Market opened positive, extending earlier gains to mark intraday high of 190 points then succumbed to selling pressure. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Stocks endured another day of volatility on Wednesday and finally settled with a loss of 247.61 points (0.82 per cent) and closed at 29,809.68.

The market opened positive and extended the earlier day’s gains to mark intraday high of 190 points before it succumbed to selling pressure and hit intraday low by 318 points. Buying in the final hour enabled index to curtail some of the losses.The market lacks positive triggers that might attract long term investors.

The geopolitical situation took precedence and the news of Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir’s arrival in Islamabad on a day-long visit to Pakistan was seen as a success of country’s diplomatic efforts.

But analysts at Intermarket Securities said that the investors’ major concerns remained over key economic indicators (in particular rising fiscal deficit and lower tax-to-GDP ratio) and high interest rates.

The scare over the upcoming Financial Action Task Force review in Bangkok (scheduled from September 8-10) also kept investors cautious. Rejoicing over the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s reform package over the weekend was a short-time affair as liquidity remained dry.

The volume declined 17pc over the previous day to 63.9 million shares while traded value dropped by 6pc to $15.6m. Maple Leaf Cement, Worldcall Telecom, Unity Foods, TRG Pakistan and Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) provided 34pc of total turnover.

Cement, fertiliser and banking sectors added fuel to selling pressure. In the exploration and production sector, OGDC, Pakistan Petroleum performed well earlier in the session but with the international oil prices moving down, investors decided to book profit which pushed down those stocks.

Scrips that mainly dragged down the index included Hub Power, lower by 2.48pc, Lucky Cement 3.13pc, MCB 1.76pc, PPL 1.52pc, Meezan Bank 2.71pc, Searle Company 4.86pc, Bank Al Habib 2.71pc, Colgate Palmolive Pakistan 4.97pc, DG Khan Cement 3.83pc and OGDC 0.57pc.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2019