KARACHI: The stock market witnessed repeat performance of a day earlier with the KSE-100 index opening on a positive note and making up to the intraday high by 154 points, only to succumb later to selling pressure and sink to intraday low by 127 points.

The index eventually managed to retrieve much of the losses and showed about flat closing with a decline of 36.10 points (0.11 per cent) to settle at 33,761.

Investors’ focus shifted to a host of quarterly results which were announced on Wednesday and though some of them were better than expected, risk-averse participants did not take fresh positions as the political temperature reached boiling point with the JUI (F) Azadi march heading straight to Islamabad.

No one could guess what awaited ahead while PML(N) was holding its breath as the party leader’s health worsens. Traders were on strike for the second day to protest against tax measures. Another concern on back of the mind was the Financial Action Task Force decision in February.

Cement and steel sectors again showed selling pressure, although some of the key stocks like Mughal and Amreli Steels, and DG Khan and Maple Leaf ended in green. Technology sector realised highest trading volume of 17.2 million shares, followed by engineering (16.8m).

Sectors contributing to the day’s performance included oil and gas marketing companies, up 35 points, tobacco 31 points, fertiliser 39 points, miscellaneous 31 points, banks 30 points and power 21 points.

With slowdown in investor participation, volume dipped 42pc to 130m shares while traded value also declined by 8pc to $32.1m. Stocks that contributed significantly included Worldcall, Unity Foods, Maple Leaf Cement, Hascol Petroleum and Amreli Steels, which formed 32pc of total turnover.

Gainers were led by Pakistan State Oil, rising by 5pc, Pakistan Tobacco 4.36pc, Dawood Hercules 3.05pc, Searle Company 4.28pc and MCB 0.71pc while losses were endured by Pakistan Services, lower by 5pc, Engro Corporation 1.08pc, Habib Bank 0.75pc, Lucky Cement 1.47pc and Fauji Fertiliser 0.80pc.

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2019